Nine months ago, Zach LaVine underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL, and the bouncy guard is already back to taking flight.
In his third year with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Zach LaVine tore his ACL and underwent an operation to repair it this past February. The team then moved their two-time slam dunk champion to the Chicago Bulls in the Jimmy Butler trade. LaVine, 22, isn’t expected to return until mid-December. However, he’s back to practicing with the team and is doing full contact work, according to Bulls reporter Sam Smith.
LaVine also returned to the high-flying acrobatics that built his brand, and the Bulls posted a clip on Twitter of their newest star finishing a mesmerizing windmill off of two feet.
— TBN (@TBNMedia) November 28, 2017
In 47 games with the Timberwolves last year, LaVine averaged a career-best 18.9 points a night while shooting 45.9 percent from the field. He emerged as a reliable scorer whose ability to stretch the floor (38.7 percent from three) complemented Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns perfectly. When Chicago made the deal to send off Butler, securing LaVine made an otherwise ridiculous trade bearable.
The Bulls got Kris Dunn and the draft rights to Lauri Markkanen, the Finnish forward who went seventh overall in June.
Putting LaVine in Chicago gives him the opportunity to morph into the face of a franchise. Right now, the Bulls are starved for talent. Their two best players have been Markkanen and Justin Holiday, both of whom are better suited to be role players at this point in their young careers. Such inexperience has powered Chicago to a 3-15 record with an embarrassing point differential of minus-12.6.
LaVine has proven to be more than a dunker in just three short years, and his All-Star potential could lead to a big payday this coming summer. Chicago’s front office is the ire of the fanbase, and it’s possible they make another mistake by letting Zach LaVine walk this summer. We won’t get into that. Instead, just enjoy the show once it makes its way back.
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