Zach LaVine has a lot to prove this year. A lot has happened in his young career. An injury. A trade. A near player mutiny and now public smearing of his mid-range jump shot. By no means has he been a disappointment but there’s still so much to be tapped into when looking into the oozing potential of the 25-year-old shooting guard.
Uber athleticism and finally a roster that fits his playing style with the amount of spacing they will theoretically provide. Despite it only being the preseason Zach has shown marked improvement even in the small sample size. LaVine is shooting at a 55% clip from the field and 57% from three-point range. His efficiency is on the rise along with his bounce.
LaVine has stated his intention to make the All-Star team and the numbers he put up last season is certainly a start. He averaged 23.7 PPG to go along with 4.5 AST and 4.7 rebounds. However, it’s the acquisitions made by the Bulls that will have the biggest impact on the sixth-year pro.
Both point guard Tomas Satoransky and forward Thaddeus Young are the types of respected veterans and elite teammates necessary for LaVine to take the next step in his budding stardom. Satoransky stepped in for an injured John Wall last season and played admirably alongside star guard Bradley Beal. Satoransky averaged five assists when inserted into the starting lineup for the Wizards.
Young will come in to bring a presence to stretch the floor and play tough defense. He shot the three at a respectable 35% last season. Lineups of him and LaVine will create spacing on the floor to add to an already lethal game around the basket for LaVine.
Despite their differences the past year, Coach Jim Boylen thinks highly of his young star and will definitely make LaVine the focal point of the Bulls offense. Boylen called LaVine a unique talent even comparing him to an alien in Men in Black.
I think he’s unique in the league. We call him cephalopoid. He’s like a cephalopoid. You seen the Will Smith movie? Men in Black? He says he chases down a cephalopoid? Zach’s a cephalopoid. He’s really special.Jim Boylen on LaVine
Boylen even went out of his way to mention the effort put in by LaVine to help the new guys brought in by the front office for this year’s team.
The thing about Zach is he’s done a nice job. We’ve got some new guys in. We got some new guys that are trying to lead with respect to the guys that were here. I think he’s done a great job of honoring them but also being him.Boylen on LaVine helping the additions
With LaVine taking on more of a leadership role as well as elevating his play there’s no doubt that he should be considered for the front runner for the most improved player award.