Still Waiting for Good Lonzo Ball News, Zach LaVine Thoughts, DeMar’s Dribbling, and Other Bulls Bullets

Monday was solid. The heat and humidity had me sweating through the ill-advised pair of joggers I chose to wear for the plane. But a walk on the beach and a great meal capped things off comfortably.

Tuesday was great. As I sat lounged on a rooftop pool with the overpriced drinks delivered to my hand in a timely manner, I considered the #VacationVibes fully activated.

Wednesday was mixed. Waking up with a ridiculous tan line on my leg that reflected Ben Franklin’s iconic ‘Join, or Die’ snake, I knew better sunscreen application would be needed to course-correct.

Thursday and Friday I failed. A burned leg became a burned chest. A burned chest became a burned back. And a burned back became a burned … well … everything except the ever-important mid-section.

This lost battle with the giant firey blob in the sky felt similar to the Bulls’ slow demise. Things were good, then great, then less great yet salvageable, then no long salvageable. Don’t get me wrong, just like this entire 2021-22 season, I still enjoyed my time under the sun. I just learned a thing or two about how to make it a more successful trip moving forward.

Anyway, I want to give a shoutout to Mr. Patrick Flowers for taking the Bull(s) by the horns the past week. He allowed me to get burned in peace!

•   The wait for positive Lonzo Ball news continues. One of the most recent reports suggested there were still “serious concerns” inside the Chicago Bulls front office about Ball’s knee injury. NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson went on to downplay those words slightly, but he still used the word “puzzling” to describe the ongoing situation behind the scenes. The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry has now added his own words into the mix, reiterating the fact that Ball has yet to trend in the direction we’d want to see:

It’s been four-and-a-half months since Ball was sidelined with a left knee injury that eventually turned into meniscus surgery. He’s still not right. Whether he will be in time for the season opener becomes more of a concern by the week. If Ball must undergo a second surgery, the time crunch intensifies. There’s been no indication from Ball’s camp that a second procedure is in the plan, but it can’t be ruled out if Ball’s knee remains unresponsive.

•   I wouldn’t consider anything Mayberry is reporting here as new information, but it does suggest that he’s continued to hear nothing that would suggest Ball has taken steps forward in his recovery process. And, he’s right, the longer that is the case, the more concerning it becomes in relation to Ball’s immediate 2022-23 availability.

•   The good news remains the same: We still have multiple months before training camp begins, which means Ball still has a lot of time to get his body right. Likewise, all reports continue to note that no second surgery is on the docket. As long as Ball is seeing the right medics, this implies time is about the only thing he needs to fully heal. Let’s just hope between now and October is enough time. Make sure to read Mayberry’s full article below:

•   Two pieces of Zach LaVine news dropped this week, and I just want to briefly add some additional thoughts. First of all, I think the report about the front office being “split” on handing LaVine the max is silly. Not only has the organization invested a lot of assets into building a winning team around the two-time All-Star, but I also don’t think this is a decision that has the right to be “split.” In other words, I think this is one man’s decision to make: Arturas Karnisovas. Perhaps I’m wrong to cast aside the many other instances where ownership and other voices influenced decisions, but I think things have changed. All recent moves have been very un-Bulls-like, and I believe that is because Karnisovas holds the keys. If he wants LaVine to stay, I think he’ll do everything in his power to make him stay. Simply as that.

•   It feels good to hear someone finally say they don’t believe LaVine wants to leave, and I expect we’ll hear more of this as free agency actually nears. His agents have done their job of stirring up controversy, but they don’t want to go too far in one direction and have Karnisovas believing LaVine truly isn’t invested in the future of the franchise.

•   I’ve watched this video like 30 times.

•   See, this is a big reason why I think DeRozan is in a position to age gracefully. He’s someone with tremendous ball-handling skills who prides himself on footwork. DeRozan’s name sits right among the league elites when it comes to playing at his own pace and attacking his spots on the floor, and that isn’t a skill set that just vanishes from one season to the next. Now, do I think we’re going to see the same All-NBA player we saw this season? No, but I do think the Bulls will have themselves a reliable secondary scorer for about as long as DeRozan wants to stay in town.

•   Matt Lloyd is a former Bulls front office face who was also in the running for Marc Eversley’s job in 2020.

•   Who wants to start the petition to put Chuck Swirsky on Dancing With the Stars?

•   Headlines you don’t like to see:

•   He’ll still be on the first team.

written by

Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

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