Lonzo Ball's Time in Chicago May Be Coming to an End

The Chicago Bulls are likely parting ways with Lonzo Ball after they acquired Josh Giddey in a trade on Thursday.
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The Chicago Bulls sent shockwaves around the NBA landscape after they pulled off a shocking trade to bring in Josh Giddey in exchange for Alex Caruso. After they turned down multiple trade offers for their star defender, the Bulls finally accepted reality and parted ways with Caruso who was entering the final season of his contract.

However, they made the mind-boggling decision to prefer Giddey over draft compensation. The 21-year-old guard has a lot of weaknesses in his game including shooting and defense, making him a tough fit. Yet, the Bulls getting younger and more dynamic is certainly a good sign.

Adding Giddey to the backcourt, however, means that Lonzo Ball is likely out the door. In fact, according to Bulls insider Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic, Giddey was brought in as insurance in case Ball doesn't return. It likely means that a trade or a buyout is likely.

"It’s impossible to not view Giddey as insurance in case Ball doesn’t return. By bringing in Giddey, the Bulls also might have signaled they’re ready to move on from Ball. A trade or buyout could be likely."

The Athletic

This is not too surprising. Ball hasn't played since January 2022. He had to go through three different surgeries on the same knee over the last 2.5 years, including getting a new meniscus and bone allograft.

Ball reportedly feels better and is ready to return for the 2024-25 season. He opted into his player option worth $21.3 million for next season.

Considering how expensive this Bulls team already is and the potential contract extensions to DeMar DeRozan and Patrick Williams, it doesn't make too much sense to pay Ball his full salary for next season. Chicago is already stacked at the backcourt with Giddey, Coby White, Ayo Dosunmu, and Zach LaVine. Moving on from Ball might be better for both sides to have a fresh start.

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