Sounds Like the Shutdown is Coming

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Sounds Like the Shutdown is Coming (UPDATE)

Chicago Bulls

At this point, all we’re waiting for is the official word from the Chicago Bulls.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania has reported what we’ve all figured for months – Lonzo Ball is expected to be shut down for the season. The point guard has continued to experience pain and discomfort in his left knee, which has now kept him off the floor for a year and one month.

Charania’s report also arrived just minutes after ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski shared that the Bulls are expected to waive Tony Bradley to make room for buyout market guard Patrick Beverley. While this was pretty much the assumed outcome for weeks now, the Beverley addition all but confirmed that the Bulls were in line to end Ball’s season.

Anyway, we’ll let you know when the team makes it official. I have to imagine the press release will hit inboxes soon.

Our original post on Ball’s likely shutdown can be seen below.

This season’s Lonzo Ball saga is about to come to an end.

According to NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson on the latest Bulls Talk podcast, the expectation is for the Bulls to shut down Ball for the remainder of the season in the coming days.

“Another point we should make as we reset here after the All-Star break is that, at this point, we should clarify that we’re fully expecting either over the All-Star break somebody sourcing it out – which you don’t even really need to source it out – or the team officially coming out of the All-Star break, coming out and saying that Lonzo Ball will be out for the season,” Johnson told co-host Tony Gill.

Johnson reiterated that Ball still isn’t running or cutting. Of course, he left the tiniest crack of the door open for a possible return, as one must do until the team makes it official, but I think we can all agree that the odds favor a shutdown at some point in the very near future.

These words also come only a few weeks after the Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley stopped on 670 The Score to discuss Ball’s mysterious status. He shared that Ball has seen numerous doctors over the course of this prolonged recovery period and that nobody still seems to fully know when he’ll regain full health.

I don’t really know what else there is to say at this point, guys. Once we reached the halfway point of this season, I basically ruled any sort of Ball sighting out. Sure, it was fun to see those clips of him dunking and running on the treadmill, but the fact they didn’t come with any official update from the team was always concerning.

The question now is whether or not he’ll even be ready for next year’s training camp. While I know that sounds like a long way off, let’s remember that he’s been dealing with this issue since last January. He was originally supposed to return after a 6-8 week rehab … and here we are.

I don’t want to get too dramatic about the long-term future of Ball’s career, but it’s kind of hard not to. Will he ever look like his old self again? Will he ever suit up for the Bulls again?

I sure hope so.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.