The Chicago Bulls acquired shooting guard Zach LaVine from the Minnesota Timberwolves back in June on the night of the NBA Draft. LaVine is recovering from a torn ACL that cost him much of the remainder of the 2016-17 season. He insists he will be back for training camp, a marker that the Bulls have said they will treat conservatively.
LaVine comes to Chicago as the centerpiece of the deal that saw franchise cornerstone Jimmy Butler heading to Minnesota. He arrives in Chicago alongside point guard Kris Dunn and the No. 7 overall pick in this year’s draft, Lauri Markkanen.
LaVine was limited to just 47 games last season, but averaged 18.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game in his time on the floor, which sat over 37 minutes per game. He finished the year as a 45.9 percent shooter from the field overall, knocking down 38.7 percent of his shots from deep.
Minnesota first selected him 13th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft out of UCLA, where he played just a single season. With the Bruins, he averaged just 9.4 points per game and made a single start. He also showcased the hops that have quickly turned him into one of the game’s elite leapers, which led to back-to-back wins in the Slam Dunk Contest in 2015 and 2016.
He has increased his scoring total each of his three years in the league and will presumably become a focus of the Bulls offense upon his return from injury. How he will play alongside veteran guard Dwyane Wade remains to be seen, but the 22-year-old guard progressing in his rehab is reason for Bulls fans to be excited.