Ask Sam Mailbag: Lonzo Ball, Donovan Mitchell in the East, and more

fuck art: The Bulls news wasn’t exactly great. With Mitchell in Cleveland, East seems to be getting tougher all the time. And it seems that Lonzo’s health remains a big question mark. It’s amazing to me, with all the advances in medical science, that they haven’t been able to explain exactly what’s wrong. I read that the knee is “structurally sound” and that the meniscus has healed long ago. All of this leaves me completely unable to predict – or even guess – what this season will be like, or even how it will start. Even with Lonzo, the season won’t be easy.

Toxic: Come on, this is the time to be excited! Ask Sam at least for the first time ever. Well, how about this: this time it’s all about how to close the season and attack the playoffs. Lonzo Ball stopping to recover from knee surgery was the biggest question at the end of last season – other than did anyone get the plate number in that half that went through UC in games 3 and 4 of the playoffs? Monday on the opening media day of training camp even as the Bulls announced this week that they are now undergoing surgery again with a window of four to six weeks and then re-evaluation. I saw him in the summer league and he was going well. Hi, this is something. It was straight! Since he hasn’t played since surgery in January, he likely wouldn’t have played much, if at all, by camp time, anyway. So now he’s out for a while, but this Bulls’ season in many respects after falling out of whack last season is all about being a playoff contender. I know, like in White Sox baseball, you also have to do the playoffs first. The East with Mitchell in Cleveland, Dejounte Murray in Atlanta, Jalen Brunson in New York, Malcolm Brogdon in Boston, P.J. Tucker in Philly and Otto Porter Jr. in Toronto (OK, forget the last thing), sounds better. Lonzo was lively last year at the start of this Bulls season and was fun to watch. But it’s also not Magic Johnson. I especially love the little Dragic and hope he can do a lot more. Don’t drop your League Pass subscription just yet.

Paul Secret: I think most of the teams in the East have improved in the off-season either through draft, deals or free agent acquisitions; I think bulls have them too; But it will be a difficult year. Not many will be easy games; Looking forward to it.

Toxic: Here you are. cuddle sucking. Hey, maybe add Joe Maddon to the staff. This worked for him once. Remember, if it wasn’t difficult, everyone would have done it. There is no crying in Ask Sam!

I can visualize a contradictory strategy from last season. I thought Billy Donovan pushed the team a lot early, taking advantage of the looser schedule and was more than ready at the time to get off to that good start. I thought it was vital and the right thing to do after missing out on qualifying and not being able to compete for so long. Confidence in sports also leads to success, and the Bulls connection was just as important. With All-Stars now established like DeRozan and LaVine, I feel the Bulls have that now and can attack the season more traditionally in near-end builds like Boston and Milwaukee. We all agree that it must be a more competitive Eastern Conference, and that only those who dare to fail greatly can achieve so much. Unlike the Bulls this season, I may be using some of my best stuff very soon.

Mike Freeman: Do you think Montrezel Harrell might have helped the bulls up front?

Toxic: yes. I’ll expand on that a bit, but no inspirational quotes. I’ve pressed for Harrell before, although it looks like the Bulls first had to tackle the backup position and what if Lonzo wasn’t ready. I agree, so the front court remains a bit undersized and under rough. I’m not sure if Kostas Antetokounmpo is the answer or the answer, though is anyone talking about the 2027 free agency yet? Harrell has had some personal issues that seem to be resolved at the moment, although I can remember very painfully the Bulls players from a few years back getting out of his way and fast. So apparently it does not absorb the pain. But you also can’t have everything you want for Christmas.

Abe Rotbart: Jay Williams, De Rose, Lonzo Ball. Is there a curse on the Chicago Bulls guard score?

Toxic: Mama, don’t you let your kids grow up to be Bulls point guards? And don’t forget Ronnie Lester, Ennis Whatley, Steve Coulter and Khaled El Amin. But there was Jay Rodgers, Norm van Leer, Kirk Heinrich, and in fact, Scotty Pippen was the primary guard throughout the title years. Tony Kokok too. Hey, I almost forgot Rondo, Cam Payne, Sato, Sam Vincent, Brent Barry, and Kyle Massey.

Alexander Jagros: Is it fair to say that we now know why New Orleans doesn’t match Lonzo’s show?

Toxic: I can not say that they were ever this way. It was no secret that Lonzo had previous knee issues, and meniscus surgery after his junior season. But I think Westbrook and Dwyane Wade both have had a few of these surgeries and had long jobs. Lonzo regularly played with swans. He played 63 and 55 games in the two seasons with New Orleans, which qualifies you in the modern NBA as an Ironman. Kawhi Leonard was said to have been in awe of Lonzo for being in so many games.

Lynn Artic: In the Los Angeles Times, Bill Blachk wrote that the Lakers had “judged themselves mediocre” for signing LeBron for another two years. He may be right, but what are they going to do?

Toxic: trading it? I guess there’s kind of an agreement, but now that Robert Sarver is available for the Suns, is this LeBron’s next stop? Sadly, we still have to endure a few more years of the main basketball story of the day being the team that plays sixth in the Western Conference. LeBron last season seemed more about chasing Karim than chasing Curry. My guess now is about chasing down a franchise where we can watch two generations of LeBrons advance to court. Speculation has been that he lined up as the No. 1 showrunner when the NBA expanded to Las Vegas. Presumably Seattle is getting the other one. The NBA desperately wanted Michael Jordan as the owner, and I now suspect LeBron. But scaling up can be tough, especially if your best player is 42 years old. How about a ready competitor with your friend Chris Paul and the young talent locked up. Baby LeBron looks good, but he doesn’t seem confident in the NBA without the helicopter dad. There is talk that Phoenix officials are considering a request to change the city’s nickname to Valley of LeBron.

Brian Tucker: If Colin Sexton had Quinn Snyder and this Utah crew, would he be a much less player than Donovan Mitchell? Obviously, with Snyder leaving, we won’t know, but the point is, the Jazz have done really well with these deals to prepare themselves well for the future. And while they’ll likely take a huge step back this year, they still have a competitive roster with plenty of interesting pieces to support Conley’s consistent leadership. Maybe Laurie finally appears on the attack. And seven draft of the first round! Ainge did a good job only to drop the second division of the All-Stars. How about Conley on a minimum deal after you buy it? The NBA is great! never gets old!

Toxic: I love the NBA offseason. Yeah, yeah, the regular season too, although I still don’t understand the mid-season championship thing they’re talking about. It’s still too early to get angry about it. Yes, we are talking about jazz. For the first time since 1998.

Besides Harrell, I’ve been a longtime fan of Conley and had been pushing for him a few years ago before he exploded with jazz. Bull management has cleverly avoided taking my advice for only 40 years now. Conley probably isn’t a takeover candidate with another season after that for around $24 million. But jazz can’t be all about rivalry now that Mitchell and Joubert have been dumped. I’m not a big fan of all your future picks, but for those who aren’t, this season seems to be about Victor Wimpanyama with a 7-2 score. And if you can get it, you’re at least Spurs when they got David Robinson. But most of the difference you won’t get. By the way, is Danny Inge still upset with the way the Bulls handled the 1992 Trailblazers? What is all these guys (Mitchell and now Bogdanovic) trading with teams that could cause problems for the Bulls? Oh yes, Conley. Nobody takes his contract. But the Jazz can’t want to win now, so maybe they’ll get a few million dollars back and eat most of Conley’s deal and move in like Dwyane Wade did from the Bulls. It would definitely be nice to have a real veteran goalkeeper like this who can shoot and you don’t need to play all the time. Well, no more talking about jazz for another 20 years.

Mike Sutera: Cleveland is a top 5 team for me. Is Mitchell occupies spot Lavigne All-Stars? I like Cavs better than Hit. How did the temperature improve? Laurie and Jimmy are getting old and hitting the mileage. The Celtics are getting older (and now the coach is gone). Grids that you can’t plot that high because of the uncertainty of the three nut functions. Here are my top 10: Bucks, Sixers, Celts, Caves, Nets, Heat, Hawks, Knicks, Bulls/Raptors; It will not be easy to defeat magic and pistons.

Toxic: Knicks? Well, future I forgot about Hall of Famer Quentin Grimes, who I’ve been reading this summer was holding off the Donovan Mitchell deal because it was probably untouchable. But then I forgot that it was the first team in the summer league. I need to watch at least one pre-season game before I drop the Bulls to 9/10. Although I agree Miami is probably overrated for the most part and Trae Young still has to protect someone. If it wasn’t for the dynasty, I would agree that the East is more terrifying, and the Bulls Continuity Strategy has taken a heavy hit.

Adam Phillips: I’m sure I’m not the only one upset, but the changes to the site and the lack of any more comments bother me before the season starts. I know you can’t do anything about it, but in your next question Sam, can you explain the details? Are they aware of what they have done and that people are upset. Although I don’t comment much, I love reading comments and seeing what other people think (everyone does, which is why social media works I think). I don’t live near any bulls fan so it’s my little world where I feel like I’m still in Chicago.

Toxic: I received this from Bulls this week. “We have tested them and comments are officially back on Bulls.com. They will only appear in new Sam Smith articles from now on. So they are not currently appearing in published articles. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.” To paraphrase Michael, they’re back! Me too. So forget seven days without basketball. Because it can make you weak. Hey, it’s a training camp. We all try things.

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