Bulls expect Williams, White to miss training camp with injuries
The Bulls have just two of their own first-round draft picks left on the roster and both will miss most, if not all, of training camp.
Coby White's shoulder surgery in June was already known. But Patrick Williams suffered a severe left ankle sprain during a workout and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. The Bulls gave updates on both players Friday.
The first practice of training camp is set for Tuesday, with media day on Monday. The Bulls open the preseason Oct. 5 against Cleveland and the regular season Oct. 20 in Detroit.
White suffered an injury to his left shoulder in the spring and was expected to miss about four months. The team said he is expected to participate in noncontact portions of training camp and make a full return in November.
Williams was injured Sept. 15, so he might be ready to return right around the start of the season.
Both players, especially Williams, are important pieces for the Bulls, but coach Billy Donovan demonstrated last year he wasn't going to make player development his top priority as he sat Lauri Markkanen in favor of veteran Thad Young. Markkanen is now with the Cavaliers and Young is in San Antonio.
A likely scenario is the Bulls open the season with a small lineup, using either Troy Brown Jr., Derrick Jones Jr. or Alize Johnson at power forward. They also have a couple of backup big men in Tony Bradley and Marko Simonovic who could get a tryout at the four spot.
Otherwise, the rest of the Bulls starting lineup appears set -- barring further injury -- with Lonzo Ball, Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic, along with Alex Caruso as the first guard off the bench.
White and LaVine are the only players still on the roster from the day Arturas Karnisovas was hired as the team's vice president of basketball operations in April 2020.