The 3 most overpaid Chicago Bulls in the 2023-24 season

Dalen Terry, Carlik Jones, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Dalen Terry, Carlik Jones, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Lonzo Ball, Chicago Bulls
Lonzo Ball, Chicago Bulls (Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports) /

1. Lonzo Ball ($20.5 million)

Even if Lonzo Ball had managed to remain healthy, it would be no easy feat living up to his salary, as he currently consumes 15% of the Bulls’ entire cap space. In the 35 games he played with Chicago, I believe he was easily on pace to live up to that deal, but his enormous salary has since become the anchor that’s pulling this team’s ability to compete down significantly.

Ball averaged 13 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.8 steals per game in his first season with the Bulls. As a lights-out 42.3% shooter from deep and incredible All-Defensive-caliber talent, Lonzo the was a perfect Swiss Army Knife of complementary skills alongside Chicago’s ‘Big 3’, which is likely why the Bulls were +4.5 points better per 100 possessions when he was on the court, and why they achieved an impressive 22-13 in games he played.

Replacing Lonzo Ball has been an impossible challenge for the Chicago Bulls.

After the NBA decided to grant a Disabled Player Exception for Lonzo this year, the front office will at the very least have a little support in making the best out of a bad situation. The $10.2 million DPE allows Chicago to add a free agent on a one-year deal, or trade for a player in the last year of an expiring contract.

While the DPE is certainly an appreciated form of relief, it’s still not Lonzo Ball. No player on the free agent market or trade block is going to provide anything close to the same level of production as Ball did in his 35 games with the team, and certainly not for $10.2 million or less. That’s why Lonzo getting healthy and making a return to the court is still the best-case long-term scenario for the Bulls, even if the prospects of his career continuing on after these injuries appear to be dwindling by the day.

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