Before you know it, basketball fans, the 2022 NBA season will begin. The return of one of our favorite leagues comes with the return of something even better: Chicago Bulls basketball! But, prior to some meaningful regular season action, we’ll have to work our way through the Chicago Bulls preseason first.
And as we get closer and closer to the preseason, there’s plenty of Chicago Bulls news, storylines, and schedules to keep up with. From training camp, injury updates, new signings, and more – let’s dive right into our Bulls preseason preview!
Free agent Kostas Antetokounmpo is signing a training camp deal with the Chicago Bulls and will compete for a two-way spot, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Antetokounmpo spent three seasons with the Lakers and Mavericks and played for Greece in EuroBasket this summer.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 18, 2022
Bulls Sign Antetokounmpo
As training camp approaches for the Chicago Bulls preseason, the team decided to make a splash and sign Antetokounmpo.
Except, it might not be the Antentokounmpo you’re thinking of.
Last week, the Bulls signed Kostas Antetokounmpo to a training camp deal. Kostas, Giannis’ 24-year old younger brother, last played professionally in the NBA as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020. While he won a championship with them (and beat Giannis to a ring) Kostas has since played overseas for a French EuroLeague team known as LDLC ASVEL. So, with the recent signing, it’s likely that Kostas competes for the Bulls’ two-way contract.
If he ends up beating out Malcolm Hill for the two-way spot, we can’t complain at all. If anything, having Kostas associated with the Bulls will only give us more ammo in a future Greek Freak pursuit if he ever decides to pursue Chicago like he said he might this summer.
Four Guys Named Top 100
What do Lonzo Ball, Nikola Vučević, DeMar DeRozan, and Zach LaVine all have in common? Well, despite playing for the Chicago Bulls, they were all named as part of ESPN’s 2022 Top-100 NBA player rankings!
ESPN released its initial top player rankings for the first 75 guys on their list early on this week. To our surprise, the four players we listed above made the cut. Now, we’re surprised due to the fact that we thought one of those guys wouldn’t make the cut, and also, we thought another Bulls player who didn’t make the list, would.
The guy who we think should have been named a top-100 NBA player, is Alex Caruso. Caruso established himself as a strong defensive presence on the Bulls, something he carried over from his time in LA. So we were a bit surprised, although he was named to CBS’s top-100 player list despite being left off of ESPN’s. But we’ll digress.
As for the Bulls’ player we were surprised to see over Caruso, that was Lonzo Ball. That’s not to say Ball isn’t a top-100 talent in the league. He certainly is when healthy. And that’s the key phrase: when healthy. Ball hasn’t played since last January, back when the team was 27-13 as the halfway mark of the 2021-2022 regular season approached. So after missing over half of the season, yes, we’re a little surprised to see him crack the top-100 this time around. We’ll certainly take it though.
Oh, and before we forget, here’s how our guys ranked: Lonzo Ball (No. 78), Nikola Vučević (No. 57), DeMar DeRozan (No. 28) and Zach LaVine (No. 27)
So, Is Lonzo Ball Healthy?
All offseason, anything and everything surrounding Lonzo Ball and his injury recovery status coming out of the Bulls camp sounded like a broken record player. “He’s making progress, but not as fast as we had hoped,” was essentially all we were told. While it makes sense that the Bulls kept quiet on one of their key pieces, a more solid timeline of his return would have been nice to have.
And after the recent updates from this week, we finally have our timeline.
On Wednesday afternoon, the team announced that Ball has been scheduled for yet another surgery. It will take place a week after their announcement on September 28. The procedure is an arthroscopic debridement of his left knee, which simply means that the surgery is intended to remove damaged tissue or foreign objects from his wound. It’s not anything close to what we were hoping to hear surround Lonzo Ball.
Because as of late, the most recent news ahead of training camp and the upcoming Bulls preseason games was that Lonzo Ball wouldn’t play in any of them. The surgery certainly solidifies that, and his timeline to be reevaluated is now 4-6 weeks. So, until then, all us fans have to do is sit and wait for his reevaluation and hope for the best. We sure wish him well, and are keeping our fingers crossed that after his evaluation he’ll be cleared to play as soon as he can.
Chicago Bulls Preseason Calendar
Like we said, the upcoming NBA season will start before you know it, so let’s look at the Bulls preseason calendar ahead of what’s to come.
All the action begins on Tuesday, October 4 for the first Bulls preseason game against the New Orleans Pelicans at 8:30PM CST. Fans with access to TNT can find the game on that channel. Their next game takes place on Friday, 10/07 against the Denver Nuggets, and their preseason schedule will conclude the following week with a game on 10/09 against the Raptors and 10/11 versus the Bucks.
After the four preseason games, the Bulls open their season on the road against Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat on Wednesday, October 19 followed by another road game against the Washington Wizards on Friday, October 21.
Their first home game takes place the next day against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and we can’t wait for it to season to finally be here!
Featured Image Credit: Chicago Bulls’ Instagram