I’m not too sure many players would want to be in Zach LaVine’s shoes at the moment. In his sixth season with the NBA, and at the young age of 24, he’s pinned to be the Chicago Bulls franchise player. But is he the star they need and everything they want him to be?
The irrefutable praise for LaVine as a super talented player around the NBA is vast, who’s having a stand-out season averaging 25 points per game. And viewing his stats overall, he’s gradually improved each year in all areas of his game. Even from a mental side, Damian Lillard was impressed in how LaVine handled himself when the Bulls head coach Jim Boylen benched him in the first quarter of a game. Yet the Chicago Bulls are just not that successful, standing 10th in the Eastern Conference with 19 wins and 35 losses. No one is even considering them to be close at reaching the Playoffs.
In 2018, the Sacramento Kings went out hard to snatch LaVine with a 4-year, $80M contract. But the Bulls matched the offer, showing faith in their young star who would develop and continue to grow with their inexperienced team. Looking back, the Bulls have been successful when they had a transcending superstar like Michael Jordan or Derrick Rose. No one is asking LaVine to rise to those kinds of heights, but it seems Chicago desperately needs more from LaVine. They want him to grow into a star who can lead them back into the Playoffs, not just a roster talent who can score.
Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson reinforced that patience is something the Bulls need as the team moves forward. The franchise is behind him, but Zach needs to continue to be better and be the player they dangerously need.
Catch you Thursday.