If it weren’t for the Bulls’ Eastern Conference-best 28-15 record, Chicago’s season might seem cursed.
Patrick Williams suffered a potentially season-ending injury early. His replacement in the starting lineup (Javonte Green) got hurt then so did his replacement (Derrick Jones Jr.). The Bulls have faced rampant coronavirus issues. Zach LaVine is out.
Now, Lonzo Ball will be sidelined with a knee injury.
Following an initial period of rest and targeted intervention, Bulls guard Lonzo Ball will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and is expected to return in 6-8 weeks.
The good news: This timeline should allow Ball time to return and ramp up before the playoffs. The Bulls have been good enough to prioritize the postseason.
In the meantime, they’ll really miss their starting point guard. Ball’s defense, playmaking and spot-up 3-point shooting have gone a long way in covering for and accentuating DeMar DeRozan, LaVine and Nikola Vucevic. This newly formed core had excellent chemistry that’s suddenly disrupted.
Chicago has plenty of guard depth with LaVine (once he returns), DeRozan, Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu and Coby White. Collectively, they can fill some of the gaps left in Ball’s absence. But those wings play plenty of forward, too. It’s hard to fill a rotation with so many injuries.
Ball also underwent left-knee surgery with the Pelicans in 2018. So, this is a little concerning. But he’s just 24. He also has the security of the four-year, $80 million contract he signed last summer.