Our last Lonzo Ball update was July 13th, and in this case the lack of news in the interim was bad news.
Somewhat out of nowhere on a Friday afternoon, ESPN’s Jamal Collier and Ramona Shelburne dropped this very bad prognosis:
Bulls guard Lonzo Ball is expected to miss training camp and is doubtful for the start of the regular season because of lingering pain and discomfort following meniscus surgery on his left knee in January, sources told ESPN on Friday.
While a source reiterated that Ball’s knee is structurally sound after he underwent arthroscopic surgery on Jan. 28, he continued to experience pain while attempting basketball activities as he spent the summer rehabbing in Los Angeles.
Ball will arrive in Chicago next week to undergo further evaluation by the team, but he is unlikely to participate when the Bulls begin training camp at the end of this month, sources said.
It may be even worse that this is still vague and indefinite, as opposed to the certainty of Ball undergoing another surgery. As of now that could very well still happen, as still experiencing pain 8 months after the initial surgery is an outlier result, and while I’m no doctor it doesn’t seem likely that it’ll suddenly be alleviated after another month.
There is some certainty in that he is not going to even be at camp, so the team can react knowing that much.
The perimeter point of attack defense, help defense on wings, pace-pushing ballhandling, rebounding, and perhaps most importantly 3 point volume are all facets of the team that Lonzo really helped affect. That is certainly a very hard player to replace, but since signing him the Bulls haven’t done enough to try and marginally improve, let alone proactively look to address his potential absence.