Chicago Bulls PF Patrick Williams will miss the rest of the regular season after dislocating his left wrist in Thursday night’s loss to the New York Knicks, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Williams was forced to exit early in the 104-103 loss to New York at home. Now, he won’t be back until perhaps the 2022 NBA playoffs.
Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Williams is expected to miss the rest of the regular season with a left wrist dislocation, source tells ESPN. He will undergo surgery soon.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 29, 2021
This is a tough blow to Chicago, which has started the season 4-1. The Bulls don’t have a ton of depth in the front court as it is and now will be missing their starting PF for another 77 games before the postseason. Woj hints that there is hope Williams will be able to return if the Bulls make the playoffs and make a deep run. Even so, Williams is a former No. 4 overall pick and a big part of the team’s future.
With Williams sidelined, there really aren’t any replacements in terms of fantasy basketball. Even on the actual roster, the Bulls have a few players who are better suited on the wing than at forward. Alize Johnson and Tony Bradley bring the most size to the PF position. Johnson feels like the most logical replacement if the Bulls want to maintain some size.
Chicago could also go small ball. Alex Caruso played 30+ minutes against the Knicks and the Bulls ran a lineup with Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball, DeMar DeRozan, Caruso and Nikola Vucevic. There will be times this lineup just won’t work against bigger teams. It’s also super athletic and Ball and Caruso are both plus-defenders.
Overall, the Bulls shouldn’t be impacted too much by this injury news, at least in terms of futures. Chicago should still be a playoff contender and potential title contender should the rest of the roster stay healthy. Williams could also be back for a playoff run. The Bulls will miss Williams’ defensive prowess and athleticism, but realistically he wasn’t being asked to do much as a starter.