Lonzo Ball has confirmed he’ll miss the 2023/24 season, but the Bulls point guard expressed optimism that he’ll eventually overcome his knee issues and return to action, he said on the “From the Point by Trae Young podcast” (hat tip to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago).
Ball underwent cartilage transplant surgery in March.
“I just had a really big surgery—hopefully, the last one I ever have to get. It’s a long process. I’m already out this whole next season,” Ball said. “When I first got hurt, we didn’t really know what it was. I was seeing all type of different doctors and stuff. I was just kind of going up and down. That was really hard for me because I just didn’t know what the next day was going to be like. At least now, I got the surgery. We got a plan moving forward. We’ve been on plan. I’m on track.”
Chicago has already been granted a disabled player exception worth $10.23MM due to Ball’s inability to play in 2023/24.
We have more on the Bulls:
- While many observers believe the Bulls’ current core group has a limited ceiling, general manager Marc Eversley says the front office has faith in the roster they’ve assembled. “I think for us as a front office, how we see our ceiling may be different than others,” he told Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. “And the way we have operated is we’re going to operate this with our beliefs. We’ve all been to different places. We’ve seen what success looks like. We can’t run this operation based on what people may think the outcome may be. We trust each other.”
- In the same interview, Eversley said they’d like to work out another contract agreement with DeMar DeRozan, who is heading into his walk year. “I would love DeMar to be part of this program long term. Let’s see how that plays out and what that looks like going forward,” he said. “When those conversations take place, we’ll speak about that more when that happens. But we hope Deebo’s back. He’s been an integral part of this program’s success. We hope he is here long term.” DeRozan will remain extension-eligible through next June 30.
- Eversley also appeared on the Bulls Talk Podcast and hinted that the front office is taking a wait-and-see approach regarding power forward Patrick Williams‘ future, according to Johnson. Williams is eligible for a rookie scale extension this offseason. “He has shown flashes over the first three years. I want to see him show more instances of flashes, more consistent,” Eversley said. “He’s got it in him. A lot of that comes with growth off of the court. And I can tell you he’s starting to grow. He’s starting to get it. It’s starting to click. And when he puts it together—and he will put it together—we might have something special.”