For the better part of the last 25 years now, having a dependable point guard who could play at a high level and hold down the floor general position for several years has been at the top of the Chicago Bulls’ Christmas wish list. Aside from Derrick Rose, this team has failed to find a franchise player at point guard, and Rose’s injury issues left his tenure cut far too short in Chicago.
And yet, for a moment there, it seemed like the Bulls had truly found that player in Lonzo Ball. Averaging 13 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.8 steals per game while shooting a ridiculous 42.3% from deep (on a larger sample size of 7+ attempts per game), Lonzo was the jack of all trades the Bulls desperately needed to fill in at the margins and turn this team into a contender.
That was, of course, until a debilitating knee injury would sideline him indefinitely and send the Bulls cratering back down to Earth. It’s no surprise that this team rushed out to a 22-13 record and temporarily held the top seed in the East with Ball in action, and the loss of his presence has sent this team tumbling down the standings ever since.
Lonzo’s poor draw of the cards only appears to be getting worse, as he recently confirmed on Trae Young’s From the Point podcast that he will indeed be sidelined for the entirety of the 2023-24 season.
Losing Lonzo Ball has had a long-lasting negative impact on the Bulls.
“I just had a really big surgery, hopefully the last one I ever have to get,” said Ball, “It’s going to be a long process, I’m going to be— I’m already out this next season.”
It’s already been beaten to death at this point, but it’s looking increasingly likely that Lonzo will go down as one of the bigger “What If?” scenarios in recent memory for the Bulls. This has not been lost on him either, as he opened up about the pressure he’s faced regarding the downfall of the Bulls in his absence. Here’s what Lonzo had to say regarding the whole situation:
"“I feel bad just for the GMs, because I feel like they made the perfect team around me. And I felt like I was involved, I felt like that was the most I’ve ever been involved in an organization. And I finally got the perfect team that I felt like fit my game, and play my way, and just really do what I wanted to do. That injury, I’m still going through it right now, that one messed me up because I feel like we really had a chance and never got to see what it was.”"
If you’d like to watch the whole interview with Trae Young, you can check it out below.
Hopefully, we’ve not yet seen Lonzo Ball’s last game in the NBA. Whether or not it comes with the Bulls, the league is simply a more exciting play when he’s out there. If he is to one day make a comeback, however, we won’t be lucky enough to see it take place any time soon.