Well, we have ourselves a Tuesday morning news dump.

Most importantly, per Shams Charania, the Bulls are expected to shut down Lonzo Ball for the remainder of the season.

This comes without a surprise. With just 23 games remaining in the 2022-23 season, Ball would need significant time to ramp up to game speed before coming back to play. That process could take multiple months and would only begin if Ball was pain free, which he is not.

The press release statement from Arturas Karnisovas via Bulls.com confirms the prevailing general consensus.

“Despite making significant increases in strength and function over the past several months, Bulls guard Lonzo Ball continues to experience performance limiting discomfort during participation in high level basketball-related activities. Considering the required time period to achieve the necessary level of fitness to return-to-play and the current stage of the NBA season, Ball will not return this season. The focus for Ball will continue to be on the resolution of his discomfort and a full return for the 2023-24 season.”

The Bulls had to have known this was coming for weeks now, if not months. Even still, it’s a gut punch for the Bulls, and especially Ball, who will now be away from the game for at least 21 months. There are no guarantees he will be back to start next season.

Ball made the Bulls great. And they haven’t been anything close to what they were with him in the lineup.

Further reading: My reaction to Ball being shut down in April 2022

In an attempt to recover from the imminent shut down, the Bulls made their first move since the season began, signing Patrick Beverley on the buyout market. To do so, they waive Tony Bradley.

It’s also not surprising that the announcement of Ball being shut down comes just 13 minutes after the Bulls waive Bradley to make room for Beverley.

The optics of shutting Ball down without making any sort of move to replace him aren’t good — they needed a solution before they could officially admit there was a problem.

With that in mind, it does make the lack of action at the trade deadline even more confusing. We will never know what deals were available to the Bulls, but if their unwavering goal was a play in tournament, signing someone off the buyout market was the only way to improve the team without taking a step back, even if it was a small one.

But Beverley is a band-aid on a wound that needs antibiotics. He may prevent things from getting worse today, but the longer they wait to treat it, the more likely it becomes that amputation is the only solution.

Further reading: My thoughts on why signing Patrick Beverley helps the Bulls short term, but hurts their future

It will be nice to see some fresh blood in the locker room, and Beverley’s presence might just make you forget about Ball for the time being. But serious questions about Ball’s future and the Bulls outlook remain.


Lead Writer and podcast co-host for CHGO covering the Chicago Bulls. A fan of the side-step and well executed defensive rotations. Previously covered the Golden State Warriors for Bleacher Report and the Bulls for the Athletic Chicago. Say hi on Twitter @will_gottlieb