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Monday, April 15, 2024

Lonzo Ball Could Return To The Bulls Next Season After Two-Year Hiatus

The Chicago Bulls could finally be whole again next season for the first time in years. In a recent report by Bulls insider K.C. Johnson, there is growing buzz that Zo’s long-awaited return to the court could be happening soon.

“Ball, obviously, is the wild card. There is growing buzz he’ll at least try to attempt to play next season… that optimism needs to be measured against the fact that he hasn’t started taking contact or playing 5-on-5,” wrote Johnsonvia via NBC Sports Chicago. “Everyone associated with the Bulls is rooting for Ball. And the Bulls have to give him one more chance unless they trade him, and there was little interest in his contract when it was included in some preliminary talks leading up to the trade deadline, mostly as part of larger packages.”

Lonzo’s initial surgery took place in January of 2022 to repair a torn left meniscus. he was expected to return just a few months later but lingering pain in the area has kept him from seeing the floor. Ball underwent two more surgeries after the initial procedure and the end of this campaign will make two full seasons that he hasn’t played a single game.

With reports that Lonzo couldn’t run or jump, nobody was sure if we were ever going to see him again. Some fans compared his situation to the devastating circumstances with Derrick Rose, Brandon Roy, and other injury-prone stars who were robbed of their chance to shine.

Fortunately, it seems that Lonzo may finally be on the mend and his return is imminent after over 175 games. And while the Bulls were at their best when he was healthy, his return may be too late for a team so deep in the gutter.

The Chicago Bulls Are A Lost Cause

Bulls ownership seems to be clinging onto hope from the 2021-22 campaign when the team (with a healthy Lonzo) was as high as first in the East. Despite questions about their fit, they managed to win a lot of games early on due to elite defense and enough shooting offensively to consistently space the floor.

Unfortunately, a lot has changed for the Bulls since Ball went down. Core players like DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic have gotten older, Zach LaVine is desperately looking for a trade out of town and young guard Coby White is taking over as the most reliable player on the team so far.

If/when Ball returns in the future, it will likely not be enough to save this Bulls team. It will take nothing short of a miracle to contend with the likes of Boston and Milwaukee next season and there is virtually no belief that they can pose a real threat in the title race.

As it stands, the best move for the Bulls would be to wipe the slate clean and start completely from scratch. If they sell early and get as many assets as they can, it should set them up for an effective rebuild down the road.

Instead, it seems the Bulls are content to run it back when Ball returns and hope that they can re-capture the magic they briefly displayed so convincingly a few years back.

Related: Selling House: What The Chicago Bulls Could Get If They Trade Their Four Stars

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