Bulls Notes: I Hate Knee Injuries, Javonte Green's Future, More

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I Hate Knee Injuries, Javonte Green’s Future, G-League News, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

I hate knees.

While it makes perfect sense that professional basketball isn’t the ideal sport for this part of the human body, I’m still mad that knees can’t hold up better! Curse you, anatomy!

Anyway, in case you missed it, Kawhi Leonard reportedly tore his right meniscus. The injury forced him to sit out the Los Angeles Clippers’ final three playoff games. As someone who already missed the entirety of the 2021-22 season with a torn ACL, it’s yet another major setback for one of the NBA’s top talents.

  • When I saw the news, I started to think about all the knee problems we’ve also seen in Chicago over the past two seasons. Of course, we have Lonzo Ball, who also tore his meniscus in January of last season. The Bulls’ point guard has yet to recover from that injury and is now facing a third surgery that will hopefully save his career. Then, there was Zach LaVine. The Bulls’ max player received an offseason knee surgery, which took him until the All-Star break to fully shake off.
  • Javonte Green also joined the party mid-way through this season. The Bulls’ versatile forward underwent debridement surgery in January, which sidelined him for 33 straight games. Not only did his rehab take longer than expected, but he appeared in just four of the team’s final 12 games after returning.
  • Now, please don’t take my mere mentioning of these injuries as an excuse for the Bulls’ wretched season. It’s not. LaVine still tied his second-most games player of his career. Green, as solid of a player as he’s proven to be, shouldn’t be the difference between a good and bad season. The Ball injury has undoubtedly held a significant impact, but the Bulls shouldn’t be that reliant on the guy who is supposed to be their fourth-best player. Not to mention, injuries are part of the game! The organization needed to adapt, and they couldn’t.
  • Let’s circle back to Green for a moment. All things considered, I’m fascinated to see what happens with his free agency this summer. With Derrick Jones Jr. destined to pick up his player option, I don’t see a world where it makes sense to bring Green back. The Bulls have minimal roster spots and a desperate need for more size and shooting. That doesn’t mean I don’t think Green can be an impactful role player. But I’m now guessing we see him play that role on a more well-rounded contending team. With that said, I also have to imagine the knee injury raises some concerns. How much will that impact his market? And how much might it lower his paycheck? We’ll see.
  • Speaking of size and shooting, nothing displays just how badly the Bulls need it better than their clutch stats. When you drop this significantly in efficiency from one year to the next, it shows how flawed your roster is. More on all that here:

  • ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski announced on Wednesday that the Portland Trail Blazers will officially join the G-League with a team in 2023-24. This will mean the Phoenix Suns will be the only team without an affiliate. I’ve been really excited to see the G-League expansion continue in recent years. While it’s likely never going to be as valuable as minor league systems in baseball or even hockey, I do think there is a strong role it can play in helping players develop.
  • We’ve already seen success stories in guys like Alex Caruso, Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, Derrick Jones Jr., and Gary Payton – just to name a few. If the infrastructure continues to improve, I really do think we’ll begin to see even higher-level talent start to come out of the G-League. Not to mention, the product itself should become only that much more entertaining to watch.

  • Congrats to these two!

  • I’m ready for the draft!

Author: Elias Schuster

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