Bulls guard Zach LaVine undergoes knee surgery

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine underwent left knee arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday May 24th at the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles.

Per the Chicago Tribune, “the left knee was already a concern for LaVine, who tore his ACL in 2017. He spent the week before this season’s All-Star break in Los Angeles to receive cortisone and platelet-rich plasma injections, missing two games. LaVine continued to miss games throughout the final third of the regular season, struggling with pain and discomfort during games and on the bench.

And per the Bulls, LaVine is expected to make a full recovery.

Health update on Bulls guard Zach LaVine

Here’s the Chicago Tribune with the latest on star Bulls scoring guard Zach LaVine:

The short-handed Chicago Bulls could lose yet another key player ahead of the All-Star break after Zach LaVine will reportedly fly to Los Angeles to receive special treatment on his left knee, according to ESPN.

LaVine sat out Saturday’s 106-101 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder due to an aggravation in his left knee. The guard previously played two games through back spasms before finally sitting out the next two games.

2022 NBA All-Star Weekend: 3-Point Contest participants

NBA All-Stars Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls, Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks headline the 2022 NBA 3-Point Contest, which will take place on Saturday, Feb. 19 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

The eight-player field for the two-round, timed shooting competition also features guard CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers (though he will reportedly soon be traded to the New Orleans Pelicans), guard Desmond Bane of the Memphis Grizzlies, guard Luke Kennard of the LA Clippers and guard Patty Mills of the Brooklyn Nets.

Team USA member Zach LaVine has placed in USA Basketball’s health and safety protocols

USA Basketball Men’s National Team member Zach LaVine has been placed under USA Basketball’s health and safety protocols and will not travel with the team to Tokyo today. Per USA Basketball, this is being done “out of an abundance of caution.”

USA Basketball hopes that LaVine will be able to join the team in Tokyo later this week.

Per ESPN.com, LaVine “is the third player to be affected in the past week, as Bradley Beal had to leave the team because of the protocols and Jerami Grant was in contract tracing quarantine for four days.”

Zach LaVine will reportedly play for Team USA in 2021 Olympics

Chicago Bulls scoring guard Zach LaVine will reportedly be going international this offseason. Via the Chicago Tribune:

LaVine committed to joining Team USA for the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, securing the final roster spot on the 12-man team, the Athletic reported Wednesday. LaVine will make his first Olympic appearance alongside some of the NBA’s best.

Other players who have pledged to play in the 2021 Olympics include Kevin Durant, Bam Adebayo, Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum, Draymond Green, Devin Booker, Damian Lillard, Khris Middelton, Jrue Holiday, Jerami Grant and Kevin Love.

As usual, Olympic bball will be must-see TV. And as usual, hit our site for daily coverage.

Zach LaVine scores 40 points in Bulls win over Thunder

Zach LaVine dropped 40 in a Bulls win over the Thunder tonight. Via the Chicago Tribune:

While playing professionally in Europe, Chicago Bulls guard Tomas Satoransky became used to constantly shuffling in and out of the starting lineup. So even though the Bulls elevated him into the starting five this week, he took it in stride.

“I’m the guy who never really overreacts to starting,” Satoransky said. “Where I came from, we always changed the different lineups in European basketball. I said this to (coach Billy Donovan): I am ready for whenever he puts me in. I never overthink that too much.”

The Bulls were plus-28 with Satoransky on the floor Tuesday as their new-look starting lineup — and a 40-point performance from Zach LaVine — helped carry them to a 123-102 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder at the United Center.

LaVine put up his points with efficiency, going 15 of 20 from the field and 7 of 12 from 3-point range. He was aided by strong performances from the two veterans inserted into the lineup: Satoransky, who had 13 points and seven assists, and Thad Young, who had 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

The Thunder, who are undergoing a rebuild, were missing a number of key players tonight.

The Bulls are 18-20 this season. They’re being led in scoring by LaVine at 28.1 points per game, Lauri Markkanen at 19.1 ppg in 17 games played, Coby White at 16.0 ppg, and Young at 12.1 ppg off the bench.

Former Bulls coach Jim Boylen speaks

The Bulls a few days ago said goodbye to head coach Jim Boylen. Although no one really knew when the move was coming, it isn’t a surprise that it did happen. Here’s NBC Sports Chicago reporting:

“I loved every minute of working for the Bulls, even the hard ones,” Boylen said in a phone conversation with NBC Sports Chicago. “And I invested myself fully in every aspect of the job.”

Until Friday. That’s when new executive vice president Artūras Karnišovas fired Boylen, ending his five-season stint with the organization that featured three-plus seasons as Fred Hoiberg’s associate head coach. Boylen’s tenure in the big seat concluded with a 39-84 record.

“Artūras was very respectful. I understand why he would want to have his own guy. I really enjoyed getting to know him and (general manager) Marc Eversley,” Boylen said. “I’ve got 13- and 15-year-old girls that miss their dad. So I’m going to do a little carpooling and just prepare myself for the next opportunity.” …

“Jerry and Michael (Reinsdorf) and (former executive vice president) John (Paxson) asked me to bring more discipline to the practice facility and practice floor,” Boylen said. “My marching orders were for us to practice harder, play harder and defend better.”

The Bulls finished this shortened season with a 22-43 record. The team has an intriguing young nucleus, but the team’s only reliable scorer is Zach LaVine. Players like Lauri Markkanen, Coby White, Wendell Carter Jr. and Otto Porter Jr. all have talent and potential, but it’ll take time — certainly more than one season — as well as a great coaching staff, to help the squad grow into winners.

Some Bulls frontcourt questions

The Chicago Bulls are a work in progress. A squad in construction. A team for the future.

Here’s NBC Sports Chicago pondering some questions on the team’s frontcourt:

While the backcourt is starting to take shape, the frontline is loaded with question marks. Was Lauri Markkanen’s slump in his third NBA season just an outlier, or will the Bulls have to adjust their evaluation on his potential? Can Wendell Carter Jr. have success as an undersized center and find a consistent role in the offense? Can Otto Porter Jr. stay healthy long enough to contribute?

Markkanen’s future is the biggest question facing the franchise right now. Was he held back by the changes to the offensive system this season, or does he simply lack the aggressiveness necessary to average 20 points and 10 rebounds over a full season? …

The Bulls also were hoping to bet a better read on Carter and Porter over the final 17 games. Carter missed about six weeks of game action because of a serious ankle sprain, but was just rounding back into game shape when the suspension hit.

The Bulls were 22-43 when NBA league play was put on hold a few weeks ago. They have Zach LaVine’s scoring, and plenty of young potential building blocks, but across the roster as a whole, almost as many questions as they have answers.

Will Zach LaVine make the 2020 All-Star team?

Here’s the Chicago Sun-Times reporting on scoring guard Zach LaVine, who this season is averaging 23.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game for the Bulls (12-19):

In his last 15 games, LaVine is averaging 27.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists and is shooting 45.4 percent from three-point range. That stretch includes a career-high 49-point game in which he went 13-for-17 from behind the arc.

‘‘His last 13 or 14 games, he’s played All-Star basketball,’’ [Chicago Bulls head coach Jim] Boylen said before the game against the Pistons. ‘‘I don’t think anybody can fight that. And before that, he was playing very good basketball, so he’s taking it to another level.’’

The East guard spot is a crowded field this year in regard to All-Star candidates. A number of players have an excellent case to claim one of a very limited number of spots.

Zach LaVine injury update: Out 1-3 more weeks

Zach LaVine injured his left ankle in the fourth quarter of the Bulls game against the Orlando Magic in Mexico City on Dec. 13.

Additional medical opinions taken since then agreed with the original diagnosis of a medial ankle sprain.

LaVine will be out approximately two-to-four weeks from the date of the injury. So, he could be out around one-to-three more weeks.

The young, rebuilding Bulls are 7-25 this season. ZaVine at 23.8 points per game has been their leading scorer.