In the summer of 2021, the NBA free agency buzz was all about Lonzo Ball's transfer. Making a switch from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Chicago Bulls, the guard was traded for Tomas Satoransky and Garrett Temple. During his inaugural season with the Bulls, Ball showcased impressive numbers. He averaged 13.0 points per game with a shooting accuracy of 42.3%, including a 3-point range shot rate of 42.3%. Additionally, he clocked 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game.
The 2021-22 season began on a high note for the Bulls. Dominating the Eastern Conference, the team led with an impressive 27-13 record. However, the tide turned when Ball faced a knee injury, noticeably affecting the team's performance and dynamic. The Bulls' stride was interrupted, and they grappled to maintain their initial position in the league.
Ball's Optimistic Recovery Journey
Post the injury, Ball underwent three surgeries and has been on a recovery hiatus since January 2022. One noteworthy procedure he underwent was a rare cartilage transplant surgery. Nevertheless, the guard remains optimistic about his rehabilitation, sharing insights during an interview with NBC Sports Chicago. "It's primarily about gaining strength and flexibility right now. I'm about halfway through the rehab, and there's around six months left. Things are looking up, and I am maintaining a positive attitude," he stated.
The big question on everyone's mind is when will Lonzo Ball make his grand return? Addressing this during the 2023 NBA media day, Ball expressed, "I undoubtedly intend to play again. I'm 25, and the rehab has been progressing well with no setbacks. My focus is to keep pushing forward."
Though Lonzo will be absent for the 2023-24 season's kickoff, his recovery seems promising. His first season with the Bulls witnessed him attempting 7.4 shots from the 3-point range per game and a free throw rate of 74.0%. This mirrors his stellar performance during his tenure with the Pelicans.
As anticipation builds for Lonzo's return, one thing is evident - he remains an integral part of the Chicago Bulls' future success, thanks to his exemplary playmaking and defensive skills.