Friday, April 19, 2024

More Devastating Injury News Surfaces For The Bulls


In a season riddled with injuries, Chicago’s streak of unfortunate updates continued today. In the top ten leaguewide in field goal attempts absent to injury, the Bulls also lead the league in cumulative minutes per game missed. Through 56 games, only six players have appeared in over 50, and only Coby White has played in every outing. Losing Zach LaVine in early February to season-ending surgery virtually removed his name from trade allegations. Another tough break has come crashing down on Chicago’s 2023-24 season. How does the newest injury update impact the rest of the year, and what does it mean for summer negotiations?

Patrick Williams Out For Season

Sidelined for nearly a month with a lingering left foot injury, Williams has opted to undergo surgery to keep him out through the remainder of the 2023-24 campaign. This season, he appeared in 43 games and averaged 10.0 points with 3.9 rebounds per outing, with a career-worst 44.3% from the field. His year was a bit of a mixed bag. While the first two months featured the worst points per game and shooting percentages from three-point territory of his career, December flipped the script while shooting over 50% from the field and deep. After failing to reach a contract extension and hearing rumors that he was demanding an annual salary that “began with a 2 and wasn’t 20”, the magnifying glass was on him from the opening tip-off.

This could not have come at a worse time for the fourth-year forward. During a ‘prove-it’ year, he left much to be desired. With such little consistency, no sizeable growth, and similar team success to his first few years, the Bulls’ front office will have more negotiating power than before the season began.

Coby White Type Of Extension

A similar structure that the Bulls could follow is fellow top-10 draft pick Coby White’s newest contract extension. After four seasons of decreasing his points per game average in three of them, the 24-year-old guard hadn’t shown much sizeable improvement through his rookie contract. Although his scoring didn’t reflect much growth, his shooting percentages had slowly become more efficient, his turnover rates lessened, and being only 23 years old at the time were all strong arguments for seeing his development through. This season, with the highest usage rate of his career thanks to LaVine’s injury-filled year, he’s trailing a two-man race for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award and scorching his previous career highs.

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At three years, $40 million, White’s extension has become one of the most team friendly deals across the league. There’s probably a similar storyline coming soon for Patrick Williams. Chicago will likely extend a qualifying offer, giving other teams the chance to create the market for the 22-year-old forward. The Bulls’ problems begin with his young age and two-way abilities. A player of his caliber defensively with the offensive skills he already possesses at such a young age makes for a prime ‘flyer’ candidate for teams with excess cap space. If they were to bring him back, it would be more expensive than White’s $13 million annual salary.

Does Chicago have enough evidence to make a decision on Williams’s future with the team now, or will they sit and wait to see what other teams have to offer? Have the former Seminole’s demands gone down following another pitiful season?

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