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#pounditFriday, July 12, 2024

Bulls eyeing notable move with Lonzo Ball?

Lonzo Ball holds the ball

Dec 19, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball (2) brings the ball up court against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Lonzo Ball’s long-awaited return may ultimately have to come … with a different NBA team.

Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic reported Thursday that the Chicago Bulls may be about to bring Ball’s tenure with the team to an end. Mayberry says that a trade or a buyout could now be “likely” for the former No. 2 overall pick Ball.

This news comes after the Bulls acquired guard Josh Giddey in a big trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier in the day Thursday. That further crowds their backcourt with ball-handlers next to 24-year-old guard Coby White, who just had a breakout season. Chicago also has the No. 11 pick in this year’s draft and may be going for a full makeover at this point.

It has been almost two-and-a-half years now since Ball, badly hampered by a persistent left knee injury, last played in an NBA game (way back in Jan. 2022). The good news is that Ball is looking good in workout videos again and is attempting to return for the start of the 2024-25 campaign.

While it might be tempting for the Bulls to try and squeeze some kind of value out of Ball after giving him a four-year, $80 million contract before the 2021-22 season, it may be best for them to avoid the sunk-cost fallacy and just cut their losses on Ball. It is far easier to trade or buy out a player when they only have one more year season on their contract (as is now the case with Ball, 26). But a trade here could be wishful thinking, especially with the troubling remarks Ball recently had about the extent of his injury.

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