Ball out, Bulls sign Beverly

THE Chicago Bulls signed veteran point guard Patrick Beverley and ruled point guard Lonzo Ball out for the season because of lingering discomfort in his surgically repaired left knee.

The Bulls brought in Beverley to help solidify a position that has been a sore spot all season with Ball recovering from his second left knee surgery in less than a year and his third since entering the NBA in 2017 with the Los Angeles Lakers. The team said Ball’s focus now will be on resolving the discomfort he feels performing “high level basketball-related activities” and making “a full return” for next season.

Beverley, a Chicago product, is a three-time All-NBA Defensive Team selection. He has averaged 8.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists over 11 seasons with the Houston Rockets, L.A. Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and the L.A. Lakers. He averaged 6.4 points in 45 games for the Lakers this season before getting dealt to Orlando, which waived him.

Ball hasn’t played since Jan. 14, 2022. He had surgery for a torn meniscus a few weeks later and experienced setbacks when he tried to ramp up basketball activities.

The Bulls had him rest for 10 days at one point, hoping it would resolve the issue and allow him to return. But he felt pain again when he started preparing to play.

Ball was still unable to run at full speed or even walk up stairs without experiencing discomfort when he had another operation in late September. He said at the time he expected to play this season.

Ball has been able to do some on-court work. He posted a video on Instagram last month of him dunking. But it became more and more clear that a return this season was unlikely.

Ball averaged 13 points and 5.1 assists while shooting 42.3 percent on 3-pointers over 35 games last season — his first in Chicago. He helped set up stars Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan and gave the Bulls an elite perimeter defender.

Chicago is 11th in the Eastern Conference at 26-33. Losers of six straight, the Bulls host Brooklyn on Friday (Saturday, PH time). (AP)