Zach LaVine is getting very close to his Bulls debut.
The Bulls have been cautious with LaVine, as they should, but he just made another big step in his process in returning to the court.
The two time dunk contest winner will participate in six straight contact practices with the Bulls and the Windy City Bulls, eyeing that a return is very close.
LaVine also shed his brace last week, another step in the process. “It’s like adding three pounds on your leg, he said. So I made the decision to not go with it. It’s safe. It’s more between me and the doctor and stuff like that, so I appreciate that.”
With the way the Bulls are playing, 7-3 in their last ten games, LaVine’s return would boost the Bulls chances of actually making a run at the playoffs. He averaged 19 points per game last season and inserting him in the lineup with Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen would make a pretty good trio given how they have been playing as of late.
As K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports, LaVine could see action in the G League with the Windy City Bulls. The WC Bulls next games are Friday Jan. 5th in Fort Wayne and a home game on Saturday.
Given he went through all the practices, two with the Bulls and four with Windy City, you would think he plays this weekend. And if all goes well, there is a very good chance he makes his debut next week sometimes for the Bulls. January 10th in New York or the 13th vs. Detroit are dates I would key in on.
How will the rotation look with LaVine’s return to the court. First off, LaVine would take up the starting shooting guard role. Given the inconsistencies of Justin Holiday and Denzel Valentine they have shown, who knows who Fred Hoiberg will plug in at small forward.
One lineup that really intrigues me is Dunn, LaVine, Nikola Mirotic, Lauri Markkanen, and Robin Lopez. That would be the Bulls best lineup, in my opinion. The bench would suffer losing Mirotic’s production but Holiday has shown he can knock down shots. He is averaging 36% from three this year and third on the team in points.
The awaited return is almost here. LaVine is ready and while he said his legs may not be 100%, he can go out on the court and ” get buckets. That’s all I know.”