Whether or not the Chicago Bulls will wake up Thursday morning with LaMelo Ball on the roster is truly hard to say.
Front office leader Arturas Karnisovas is said to keep things close to the vest, and the less other teams know about the Bulls plans, the more leverage they possess (I’m sure it’s no coincidence that the organization has been linked to practically every projected top-10 pick over the last few weeks).
All of the unknown has left room for plenty of rumors, though. One of the most eye-popping theories that have come up in recent weeks is that the Bulls could be interested in top-ranked point guard LaMelo Ball. In fact, on November 9th, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony reported that Chicago was a “popular pick” to trade up for Ball. Then, only a couple of days later, we got word that the Bulls may not even have to move up the board to land him, as some started to believe Ball could fall out of the Top-3.
Exactly what will happen is anyone’s guess, but one day out from the draft things appear to have reverted to the mean. Ball is mostly thought to be a top-3 pick, if not the No. 1-overall pick. And in an interview on Tuesday, he told reporters that he has only worked out with four teams, three of which hold the top-3 picks (the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Golden State Warriors, and the Charlotte Hornets, respectively). The other team Ball has worked out for is reportedly the Detroit Pistons.
In other words, Ball has not worked out for the Chicago Bulls.
LaMelo Ball said he didn't work out in person for the Bulls.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) November 17, 2020
LaMelo Ball says he’s had in person workouts with Minnesota, Golden State, Charlotte and Detroit thus far. He didn’t mention other teams when asked about in-person workouts. https://t.co/LwWoVFyRQ0
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 17, 2020
Now, does this mean the Bulls are out of the Ball sweepstakes? Not necessarily.
Ball might have been told to keep his meeting with Chicago on the down-low. After all, we know Karnisovas has a knack for secrecy. There is also no rule against taking a player you haven’t worked out. The Bulls may still highly consider him – and ultimately snag him – if he falls into their lap at No. 4.
I must admit, though, this doesn’t bode well for the Ball-to-the-Bulls truthers. Either Karnisovas is so confident Ball will go in the top-3 that he found a workout to be a waste of time, or he is just not very interested in Ball regardless of what happens on draft night. Also, as for the rumors about trading up for Ball, those now seem even more far-fetched.
Again, none of this is to say the Bulls don’t wake up Thursday with Ball on the roster. Anything can happen, especially for an organization like Chicago that has been so tight-lipped.