The Chicago Bulls stayed quiet for most of the season, focusing on recruiting Zach LaVine and restoring the core of last year’s squad to build it in the 2022-23 season. But it was still a busy summer for the Bulls players who spent their time recovering from injury, growing their family and competing in local and international competitions.

The Bulls added free agents Andre Drummond and Goran Dragic along with the Dalen Terry draft to complete LaVine’s starting trio, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vučević. The front office committed to withdraw from last season early, but injuries remain a key issue as the team plans to enter the season without Lonzo Ball as the starting point defender.

Along with Tuesday’s Bulls training camp, here’s a rundown of how some of the best players spent the summer

1. Lonzo Balla’s left knee injury persists

Out of season it did not bring any relief Lonzo Ball, who will undergo surgery on his left knee on Wednesday and will miss the start of the season as he is still looking for answers to the injury that has sustained since January.

Ball will undergo arthroscopic surgical debridement – a procedure that removes cartilage, tissue, and other debris – from the left knee. The procedure will be held in Los Angeles, where Ball spent the off-season trying to recover from an injury.

The ball will be reassessed four to six weeks after surgery, excluding him from at least the first five games of the season. Pending re-evaluation, it will be over 10 months without being able to run at full speed or struggle with contact, and this number of missed matches will take a long time to return to a weekly regular season workload.

2. DeMar DeRozan dominates the Drew League

DeRozan returned to the Drew League with his MMV Cheaters this summer, bringing breathtaking performances in the notorious pro-am league.

The Drew League is a competitive league based at King Drew Magnet High School in DeRozan’s hometown, Compton, California. The league’s top talents regularly appear in the league, with rotating squads that allow players to make appearances throughout the summer.

DeRozan scored 36 points during his peak summer night, but Cheaters were finally knocked out in the second round of playoffs.

Patrick Williams joined DeRozan for the game, finishing with 14 points and 14 rebounds on his league debut. Earlier this summer, Williams mentioned plans to join DeRozan in Los Angeles to undergo the grueling “hell” training the veteran had previously honed with Kobe Bryant.

DeRozan also invited Lakers star LeBron James to join his team for the July game. In his first appearance in the Drew League since 2011, James conceded 42 points, 16 rebounds and four steals, while DeRozan added 30 points and 14 rebounds.

3. Zach LaVine welcomes the first child

Zach LaVine and his wife Hunter welcomed their first child, St. Thomas.

Later signing a contract for a maximum of five years, renewal of USD 215.2 million with the Bulls in July, LaVine expressed his excitement and nervousness about his new father role.

“This is bigger than basketball, bigger than anything,” said the two-time All-Star. “I am nervous, anxious, excited. … I know how to play basketball – but this is something I haven’t done yet ”.

LaVine, 27, has focused on off-season growth and recovery. He spent most of the summer in Los Angeles after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in May to address the discomfort that plagued him in the second half of the 2021-22 season.

4. Goran Dragić returns to the Eurobasket tournament

Dragic came back from international retirement at the age of 36 to play for Slovenia in the Eurobasket this summer, competing alongside Dallas star Luca Dončic.

The tournament was a much-needed update to Dragic’s current skills after the Ranger only played 21 matches last season.

Slovenia’s race was interrupted in the quarter-finals, disturbed by Poland, but Dragić scored positively: an average of 14.9 points, 3.7 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals in seven games.

Dragić oscillated between primary and secondary roles on the ball, promising he would be able to make the offensive as the Bulls weigh their alternatives to the injured ball.

The tournament was dominated by top NBA stars including Giannis Antetokounmpo, but one Bulls starter was missing: Vučevic. Center chose not to compete for the Serbian national team, in part to focus on its role in the Bulls after the frustrating ending of the 2021-22 season.

5. Ayo Dosunmu grows, focuses on the community

The second-year ranger showed signs of significant muscle gain during the first full season of the off-season, participating in the summer training sessions at the Advocate Center, even though he was not in the Las Vegas summer league.

But the biggest event of Dosunmu summer took place on a different pitch. Dosunmu staged a block party in July to honor his childhood friend Darius Brown, who died in a shootout on an adjacent basketball court.

The adult ranger attended charity events throughout the summer, joining Mayor Lori Lightfoot to speak during a June peace march to defend gun violence.


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