Chicago Bulls Rumors: Lonzo Ball getting dealt or bought out a real possibility after Josh Giddey-Alex Caruso trade

Lonzo Ball getting dealt or bought out a real possibility after Josh Giddey-Alex Caruso trade
Lonzo Ball getting dealt or bought out a real possibility after Josh Giddey-Alex Caruso trade

Lonzo Ball getting moved on by the Chicago Bulls reportedly seems '"likely" after the team acquired Josh Giddey from the OKC Thunder for Alex Caruso. Giddey's addition means the Bulls now have two starting-caliber point guards if Ball is on the roster on Opening Night next season.

He's been out with a persisting knee injury since January 2022 but is expected to make his comeback in the 2024-25 season. However, it may not be with Chicago. Here's what Bulls insider Darnell Mayberry wrote about the player's future with the six-time NBA champions:

"Giddey’s acquisition also further clouds the Bulls’ plans for recovering point guard Lonzo Ball, who hasn’t played since January 2022 but is expected to make a comeback next season.
"It’s impossible to not view Giddey as insurance in case Ball doesn’t return. By bringing in Giddey, the Bulls also might have signaled they’re ready to move on from Ball. A trade or buyout could be likely," Mayberry said.

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Lonzo Ball signed a four-year, $80 million contract with the Chicago Bulls in 2021. He played only 35 games in his first and only season with the team, averaging 13.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.8 steals, shooting on 42/42/75 splits. The Bulls were rolling with Ball active.

They were 27-13 before he went down with the injury, seemingly looking like one of the rejuvenated playoff contenders who could have made a deep push.

However, it all went downhill in Ball's absence as they went 19-23 to finish the season and lost in the first round to the Bucks in five games. Chicago didn't return to the playoffs the following two years with Ball sidelined, finishing with back-to-back losing seasons and ninth-place finishes.


Lonzo Ball could generate some interest as a buyout candidate

With $21.3 million left on his deal, Ball might not find many trade suitors. He's one of the best two-way point guards who can fit on a team, but uncertainty citing his injuries could lead to teams avoiding getting into a trade deal for him. A rebuilding team might accept him on a salary dump at best and buy him out if the Bulls don't wish to do so.

Nevertheless, Lonzo Ball might generate decent interest on a minimum deal as a buyout option for teams if he passes basic injury checks. He could be a solid contributor on a contender off the bench if he's any close to the player he was two and a half years ago.

Only time will tell how prepared he is ahead of his potential return.

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Edited by Arhaan Raje
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