Patrick Williams Breaks Silence on Bulls Future Ahead of Season-Ending Surgery

It’s another lost season for the Chicago Bulls in terms of their evaluation of fourth-year forward Patrick Williams.

Injuries have now derailed two of his four NBA campaigns. His latest – a bone edema that turned out to be a fracture – comes at arguably the worst time for everyone. Williams is heading for restricted free agency.

“I don’t think anybody knows what their future is, to be honest,” Williams told reporters on February 24. “I would love to continue to be a Bull.”

His injury also hinders the Bulls’ ability to get a complete picture of what he can become.

“I love it here; I love the opportunity we have to build a culture, build something special with this group, with this team,” Williams said. “And I think I’m a really good cornerstone piece for this team. But you never know what the future holds. I understand it’s a business.”

Williams has long been the closest to untouchable on the Bulls’ roster over the last few seasons, save for maybe Alex Caruso.

Patrick Williams visibly upset while speaking to us this morning about his season-ending injury.

Surgery set for March 6, although he’d like to push that up.

In the meantime he’s leaning on his teammates for energy: “I’d lose my mind if I wasn’t.”

— Julia Poe (@byjuliapoe) February 24, 2024

Williams was the No. 4 overall pick of the draft in 2020.

He is also the first draft pick of Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas. As such, Williams delayed development has come off as being less of an issue from Bulls brass than it has from the outside.

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It’s also the only NBA home he has ever known, something with which many players have had difficulty reconciling in this situation.

Williams is slated to have surgery on March 6.

“I love the team, I love the guys, I love the front office,” Williams said. Just the opportunity to build something here. For now, it’s worrying about this surgery and getting back to playing. I’m gonna let the chips fall where they may.”

For all of his positivity, Williams had designs on improving the offer he might receive from the Bulls in their next round of negotiations.

Patrick Williams Rejected Bulls’ Contract Offer

“Williams turned down a contract proposal before the season and previously said—before this injury—that he had no regrets doing so,” NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson wrote on February 24. “Sources at the time indicated the Chicago Bulls’ offer was in the neighborhood of four years for $64 million with a team option.

“It’s unknown if that represented a take-it-or-leave it proposal or was part of the ongoing negotiations. It’s believed Williams sought a deal in the vicinity of De’Andre Hunter’s four-year, $90 million deal with Atlanta but also might’ve come down to $20 million annually.”

This is in line with previous reports and predictions for Williams’ situation.

Bulls Ex-Top Pick Predicted to Land $100 Million Contract

“I’m hearing Patrick Williams wants big big numbers,” ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on “The Lowe Post” on October 20 “Like starts with a two and isn’t ‘[$20 million] kind of stuff potentially.”

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Because Williams will be a restricted free agent, the Bulls still largely control the outcome. Both Ayo Dosunmu and Williams’ fellow “Carolina Boy”, Coby White, went through similar experiences last offseason.

Neither had the stature within the organization that Williams does, though.

Patrick Williams ‘Devastated’ By Season-Ending Surgery

Williams outlined the chain of events that led to his decision to have surgery. He noted that it started after the Bulls’ road loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on January 25.

Patrick Williams is out tonight and wearing a walking boot on his left foot.

This is different from the right ankle strain that sidelined him for three games earlier this year.

Pat was not keen on the boot: “Naturally I said hell no. I know what it looks like.”

— Julia Poe (@byjuliapoe) January 29, 2024

He returned from the All-Star break early and was going through his ramp-up process, intending to return at the end of February. Williams had a “routine MRI”, just to check the progress of his previously diagnosed bone edema, or bruise, on February 21.

Doctors contacted him later that day to alert him of the fracture in the “navicular bone”.

“The pain was below a two out of 10, which is where we wanted to keep it,” Williams said. “For me, it was frustrating. Because I’m thinking I’m ramping up, shooting at a date around the end of this month to come back. You hear that news, it’s devastating.”

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