Lonzo Ball, the Chicago Bulls point guard, has undergone three knee surgeries in 14 months, with his recent cartilage transplant surgery making it unlikely for him to return to his NBA playing career. As mentioned in 670 The Score’s Dan Bernstein, the Bulls organization doesn’t believe it’s likely that Ball will ever play again. This suggests that the organization needs to make a decision on how to proceed with his contract, such as applying for a Disabled Player Exception, which would give the Bulls half of his 2022-23 salary. However, spending it would still count toward the luxury tax, which could be a problem for the team.
As mentioned in a recent report from Dan Bernstein of 670 The Score, the Chicago Bulls may not believe that Lonzo Ball will ever play in the NBA again. This news comes after Ball underwent his third knee surgery in just 14 months, with his most recent procedure being a cartilage transplant surgery in March of 2023.
Ball initially suffered a meniscus tear in January of 2022, which caused him to miss the remainder of the 2021-22 regular season. The Bulls had hoped that Ball would only need six-to-eight weeks to recover and return to the court, but he experienced lingering pain and discomfort during his rehab. As a result, he underwent another procedure, which ultimately led to his most recent surgery.
While the Bulls have publicly expressed optimism about Ball’s future and their commitment to helping him make a full recovery, Bernstein’s report suggests that the team may have doubts about his ability to return to the court. This news could have significant implications for the Bulls, as they may need to make a decision about how to proceed with Ball’s contract.
One option for the Bulls would be to apply for a Disabled Player Exception, which would provide them with some immediate relief. If the NBA were to grant the exception, the Bulls would receive half of Ball’s 2022-23 salary, which amounts to a little over $10 million. However, this relief would still count towards the luxury tax, which could be problematic for the Bulls if they are already unable to spend their full mid-level exception.
Ultimately, the decision about how to proceed with Ball’s contract will likely depend on whether or not the Bulls believe that he will be able to return to the court. If they do not believe that he will be able to play again, they may need to explore other options to free up salary cap space and roster spots.
Of course, it is important to remember that Bernstein’s report is just one perspective on the situation. The Bulls may still believe that Ball can make a full recovery and return to the court, and they may be committed to helping him do so. However, if they do have doubts about his future, they will need to make a decision soon about how to proceed with his contract and their roster.
In the meantime, fans will have to wait and see what the future holds for Lonzo Ball and the Chicago Bulls. Regardless of what happens, it is clear that his recent injuries have cast a shadow over his NBA career and raised questions about his future in the league.