Zach LaVine managed to play only 24 games for the Chicago Bulls during his first season in the Windy City, coming off an ACL surgery that caused him to miss the latter part of the season as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves before being traded in the offseason.
Yet his numbers pale in comparison to what he proved he could do with his former team, getting a shave of almost 10 minutes per game due to injury management and posting 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.0 assists nightly, shooting only 38.3 percent from the field and 34.1 percent from deep. The Renton, Washington native hopes his small sample of work this season shows enough promise to encourage those around him.
“[I hope I showed] that I can be that consistent number one scorer guy, that number one option,” LaVine told Sam Smith of Bulls.com. “I think everybody sees me as being one of the leaders on the team. I want to be that guy in that role and continue to show that. I’ve shown some spots of that and I’m going to continue to work at that. Going to the offseason that’s what I’m working at. I want to be an elite player in this league and I’m not going stop until I’m at that stage.”
LaVine pushed himself to return as fast as possible from his injury, but having been ruled out the rest of the season, he will have even more time to hone his craft and hit the ground running next season from the start, getting the continuity and team chemistry needed to become the 20-point scorer the franchise hoped he could be.