Bulls video: Zach LaVine scores his first points in Chicago
Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine is back. After spending a long time out of action to recover from a knee injury, LaVine finally made his long-awaited debut for the Bulls Saturday night at home against the Detroit Pistons. It did not take long for the highlight-reel machine to announce his return to action, though, as he drained a shot from long range for the Bulls’ first points of the ball game.
LaVine has not seen action since last year, when he suffered a torn ACL back as part of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota would later trade him last summer to the Bulls in a blockbuster deal that sent him along with Kris Dunn, the rights to draft Lauri Markkanen, and Justin Patton for All-Star shooting guard Jimmy Butler.
LaVine is bound to be a restricted free agent at the end of this season, and he will have ample time to prove to teams angling to make him offers next summer that he is capable of being a valuable asset. After all, LaVine is just 22, and is just a year removed from averaging a career-high 18.9 points on 45.9 field goal shooting percentage to go with 3.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.
The Bulls are not in a rush to give Zach LaVine a heavy workload, as they are reportedly putting the high-flying guard out of UCLA on a minutes-restriction protocol, per Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic.
— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) January 13, 2018
As an effect of LaVine’s return Denzel Valentine is expected to see a decline in playing time.