Folks, the Zach LaVine rumors have arrived.
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) May 10, 2022
Fork over the max, and the Chicago Bulls will have nothing to worry about. Simple as that.
• The Bulls were faced with one of the toughest matchups in the playoffs during the first round. Now, was this thanks to their own sucking over the last two months of the season? Of course. But I still think it’s something we have to keep in mind as we evaluate the pre-existing roster this summer. Playing the defending champions is a tough challenge for a group that has never stepped foot into the playoffs together. And that challenge becomes even harder when you consider several rotation members have never even played in a postseason game – let alone experienced a winning season. So while no one is saying Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley should sit on their hands this offseason (size and shooting is an area that must be improved), sometimes it’s true that you simply get dealt a god awful hand.
• I mean, seriously, the Bucks are super good. Without Al Horford stealing and chugging Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Secret Stuff before last night’s game, it’s very possible Milwaukee would have a chance to close out the series on Wednesday afternoon. The Bucks were also easily the worst matchup for the Bulls when we consider their elite ability to wall off the paint and contest the midrange. Antetokounmpo was largely the reason for that, but the impact of Jrue Holiday also proved decisive. The Bucks’ All-Star point guard didn’t just find success against LaVine and DeRozan, but he’s already shut down Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in the Celtics series. Crazy stuff.
FG% when guarded by Jrue Holiday this playoffs:
28.6% — Zach LaVine
30.0% — Jayson Tatum
38.1% — DeMar DeRozan
38.5% — Jaylen Brown
Players are shooting 30.6% overall vs Jrue, the lowest by any defender in this playoffs. pic.twitter.com/KmZWh0Du6C
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 8, 2022
• As we freak out about Zach LaVine, Stacey King is here to give us a bear hug and feed us those cookies Alex Caruso tole this season:
The Bulls want Zach back and are willing to pay him the max! The Bulls are building something nice here and Zach is a big part of it so why even think about leaving when you get your bag, on a winning team and Chicago is a big market and great city for your brand? Easy decision😉 https://t.co/zqT3FKELD0
— Stacey King (@Stacey21King) May 10, 2022
• All things considered, King’s words shouldn’t be considered completely irrelevant. As much of a homer as King tends to be, he is around this Bulls team more than any member of the media. I have to imagine he has at least some kind of inside knowledge on how LaVine plans to approach this offseason. Now, that doesn’t mean he knows what is going through the All-Star’s head right now, but it is good to know he at least feels somewhat comfortable in declaring LaVine a long-time Bull.
• I also think King brought up a very important point that can be easily forgotten in this LaVine free-agency dialogue: The city of Chicago. LaVine is already in one of the biggest and more profitable markets in the NBA. Even if we consider a sign-and-trade as a possibility, there aren’t many places he can go to this offseason that offer a larger platform. Los Angeles and New York are arguably the only two destinations, and both teams could have trouble pitching LaVine on a future with their respective franchise. At the end of the day, these things like marketability are incredibly important to emerging stars, and I think it’s part of the reason why we did see players like DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball join the organization last year.
• Just some GOATs hanging out.
A legendary linkup 🐐 @brgridiron
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 8, 2022
• Do you think Michael Jordan tried to challenge Brady to something silly? I feel like Jordan can’t run into another great athlete without immediately wanting to assert his dominance. Like, would anyone be surprised if a legendary story came out that Brady and Jordan paid off two Formula 1 racers to use their cars in their own makeshift race later that night? Probably not.
• The Chicago Bulls have quite the high-upside youngster in their backcourt …
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) May 9, 2022
• … which makes the future of this fellow backcourt youngster very interesting …
While Coby White averaged a career-high behind the arc this season, he still struggled to have the kind of impact the Bulls needed.
Now, extension eligible this offseason, what does the future hold for the 22-year-old? https://t.co/PXuzOrDx0Q
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) May 10, 2022
• Invest in kickers! Make it a kicker’s league!
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) May 10, 2022
• Time to pray to the lottery gods! Not No. 7, not No. 7, not No. 7 …
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) May 10, 2022