Nobody knows for sure what the Chicago Bulls are going to look like in the coming months. VP Arturas Karnisovas is in the process of evaluating everything. Both the coaching staff and the roster. The law of averages virtually guarantees that changes are coming. It’s a matter of how many changes there will be. Who will survive and who will get sent packing. While many names are up in the air, one the wider NBA community continues to urge the team to keep is Zach Lavine.
Lavine is probably the one true bright spot for what has been a disappointing team the past two years. Despite not a lot of help around him and constant issues with head coach Jim Boylen, he still managed a career-best 25.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. The 25-year old is fast becoming one of the better scorers in the NBA. One that is grabbing the attention of notable people, including former champs.
Metta World Peace, the former Bulls forward who won a title in L.A. in 2010, was impressed in the limited times he’s seen Lavine work.
“I don’t watch a lot of Zach but, I’ve seen him before and from what I’ve seen, he’s a helluva player. From what I’ve seen, he is on the cusp of being great. He’s at the curve. Right now – and this is where he makes his decision of is he just going to great or is he just going to be really good. He’s going to be really good, right?… That’s a fact. So he has some things in his game that needs to improve…”
He wasn’t alone though. Kendrick Perkins, who also won a title in 2008 with Boston, is an even bigger fan.
“Love everything about him. He’s a pure scorer. We already know he’s super athletic but he has heart. People don’t understand. He don’t go out there to just put up empty stats. He wants to win. He plays winning basketball. He’s one of the most underrated…probably could’ve made the All-Star team this year. I love everything about Zach Lavine. The way he bounced back from his injury. The way he carried himself. He’s a silent killer.”
Zach Lavine could be something special if he gets help
The reality is Lavine has probably reached his peak in terms of what he can do alone. He’s a tremendous scorer and should be able to remain that way for another few years presuming good health. Yet nobody really talks about him. The answer why is obvious. He’s yet to play on a winning team. Remember he’s been in the NBA since 2014 and has yet to play in a postseason game. Until that changes, he will keep getting overlooked.
A big question is whether Karnisovas views him as a piece worth building around. While there is no doubt Lavine can score, his passing and defense aren’t exactly considered top-notch. Maybe in a different system with better coaching could change that. Much will be revealed about their plan in the next few months as the draft and free agency approach.