The Bulls are hopeful that second-year forward Patrick Williams will return for the season opener in Detroit, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times. Williams was expected to miss four-to-six weeks after severely spraining his left ankle in mid-September during an individual workout.
“We’re pretty optimistic,” coach Billy Donovan said. “What the [doctors and trainers] really want to make sure is that the sprain has healed adequately, so we’ll probably be a little bit more on the cautious side, just because I think once [Williams] starts randomly cutting, they’ve got to see how he responds. With as explosive and as powerful as he has been, one of the things they don’t want is [to] have something where he’s not quite stable, he does something and tweaks it, and now he’s having to manage that in the middle of the year.”
We have more on the Bulls:
- Chicago’s ball movement in the preseason opener was superior, with the team amassing 36 assists. DeMar DeRozan says that Lonzo Ball is setting the tone with his play-making skills, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes. “When you’ve got a point guard of that magnitude with that IQ that’s as unselfish as he is, he makes the game easier and it makes it fun. And it becomes contagious,” DeRozan said. “You saw the way we moved the ball. It’s been like that all through training camp, and we expect it to keep getting better.”
- Guard Javonte Green started in a downsized lineup in place of the injured Williams in that 36-point win over Cleveland. He made a solid case for a rotation spot, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. Green posted a stat line of 13 points on 6-for-9 shooting, eight rebounds, four blocks and two steals in 17 minutes. The Bulls re-signed Green on a two-year deal early in free agency.
- The team is still in good shape cap-wise despite all the big moves it made, John Hollinger of The Athletic notes in his review of the offseason and preview of the season ahead. The Bulls are $3MM below the tax line, giving them flexibility to make some in-season moves. While Chicago has improved its roster, Hollinger still projects the club to finish 11th in the Eastern Conference.