During last night’s Bulls victory over the league-worst Memphis Grizzlies, NBC Sports Chicago’s Vincent Goodwill joined Stacey King in the booth during the second half. Their main topic of conversation piqued my interest, and it just might pique yours too.
Goodwill published a piece on Tuesday suggesting that as this Bulls team enters the competitive ranks of the NBA, that a pecking order of importance needs to be established between Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen. Before you go and write off the piece as nothing but a mid-season lull article meant to ruffle feathers, Goodwill pulled some quotes from LaVine Monday night about the subject.
“It’s gonna be a tug of war, a tug and pull between somebody,” LaVine said to NBCSportsChicago.com Monday night. “That’s for us to figure out. It’s either with somebody’s play or mentality-wise; we have to be better with that.”
Huh. So this is something that’s already on his mind?
LaVine wants to take the reins.
“Can’t be friends with everybody,” LaVine said. “That’s just the way it is sometimes.”He says he’s ready.”If you put anybody in that right mindset they can turn into that dude,” LaVine said.
“Can’t be friends with everybody”.
I linked to the article earlier so that the quotes I pulled wouldn’t be pulled out of context, but the gist I get from LaVine’s quote is that the establishment of roles, specifically who will be the #1 guy, is already on his and his teammate’s minds.
After last night’s win against Memphis, a win in which all three players scored 21 or 22 points, Kris Dunn had this to say:
Markkanen hasn’t spoken up yet on what he perceives his future role to be, but both King and Goodwill said that they believe he will be the #1 guy of this group, and I have a hard time disagreeing.
There has been no problem finding shots for the three of them this season, all of them average between a 12.8 and 15 FGA a game. LaVine’s usage rate is nearly 8% higher than Markkanen’s, though, that will likely change in the future.
In the next couple of seasons, when the Bulls become more competitive and winning takes precedence over player development, will a 1-2-3 be necessary for this Bulls core? History tells us, yes, and the present tells us that they already know that.