The Chicago Bulls made one of the smartest moves of the 2022 offseason by plucking nascent floor general Lonzo Ball from the New Orleans Pelicans for cheap. Ball was blossoming into one of the best 3 and D point guards in the association, and he quickly emerged as a strong fit alongside the more ball-dominant Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. However, Ball has had his fair share of injury troubles that are threatening to derail his career completely.
While it's too early to tell whether Ball has suited up for the final time in an NBA court, the latest update on his knee injury is far from a promising sign. On the night of the 2023 NBA Draft, Bulls vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas said that the franchise still expects the 25-year old point guard to miss the entirety of the 2023-24 season despite reportedly progressing well in his recovery.
“He's recovering nicely. Last month he got off the crutches. […] Everything is going well. Going into the off-season, our expectation is that he's not coming back next season and he's gonna continue on his recovery. If he comes back it'd be great,” Karnisovas said, per Julia Poe of the Chicago Tribune.
It's been over 17 months since Lonzo Ball last stepped foot on the court. This prolonged absence certainly does not bode well for his NBA future at all, whether with the Bulls or some other team. Hopefully the two years off the court do Ball's injured knee a world of good, as it'd be quite the shame if his career ends this prematurely.