Waiting for LaVine Updates, Questions to Answer, King Approves, and Other Bulls Bullets

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Waiting for LaVine Updates, Questions to Answer, King Approves, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

Does the NBA season end tonight?

The Bucks surely hope so. The area outside the arena, known as the Deer District, is expecting around 65,000 people for Game 6. Is that a lot?

•   On the day Team USA was supposed to leave for Tokyo, Zach LaVine was placed into quarantine. The All-Star is the third member of the official 12-man roster to enter health and safety protocols. Bradley Beal was the first player to enter protocols, and it was announced that he would be replaced entirely last week. Jerami Grant is the other player who experienced a stint away from the team, but he was able to rejoin the squad for their last remaining exhibition game against Spain. The hope would be that LaVine can follow a similar trajectory. USA basketball did say they were hopeful he could fly to Tokyo later this week, which means his current stint in health and safety protocols could be due to contact tracing.

•  I wrote the other day about how irrationally proud I have been to watch LaVine’s recent carer arc. After years of people questioning his ability to be a high-impact All-Star, he has proven in 2021 that he is capable of taking the next step. An invitation to represent his country and compete on the world stage seemed to be the culmination of that. Now, that is in jeopardy. Excuse me while I scream into a pillow. 

•   You know what we should not do? Blame LaVine for being placed into protocols. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding Richard Jefferson here, but it most certainly sounds like he is calling out LaVine for something he had no control over. Not only has this been going around the Team USA camp, but it is assumed that LaVine is vaccinated. Thanks to K.C. Johnson, we know that LaVine was in between his first and second shot when he tested positive for the virus back in April.

•   Seriously, Jefferson’s commentary grinds my gears: “Zach LaVine has been on a tough team in Chicago, so if you have a chance to go out there and be one of the world’s best – in hindsight, Zach – would you be in quarantine right now, so you wouldn’t miss the Olympics?” Like … bruh. Come on. Do you really think LaVine was not putting his best foot forward for Team USA? Do you know anything about this guy’s work ethic? Anyway, fortunately, Rachel Nichols and Kendrick Perkins call out Jefferson immediately for his more than questionable remarks.

•   We are nine days away from NBA chaos. The draft is scheduled for July 29th and free agency will begin on August 2nd. Plenty of rumors have already started to drip down the pipe, but we are in store for plenty more as this week stretches on. With all of that in mind, it is important to remember the Bulls have several paths they can follow. Will they become a cap space team? Will they look to operate above the cap and open up the MLE? Is Tomas Satoransky gone? What about Thaddeus Young?

•   NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson wrote about the different approaches the Bulls might consider in his latest below. Worthwhile read.

•   The path the Bulls pick could be pretty heavily influenced by what they believe other teams around the league might do. Having a grip on how your competition might attack certain free agents is important, and it is why the New Orleans Pelicans’ interest in Kyle Lowry was something we discussed yesterday. If you’re interested in where some other franchises around the league might stand, give this post from CBS Sports a quick lookover. They do a good job of summing up each franchise’s cap space situation this summer.

•   I’ll never stop quoting Stacey King’s reaction to that dunk.

•   It’s kind of funny how the exact point guard this Bulls team needs is prime Kirk Hinrich.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.