The Chicago Bulls were always going to struggle this season and, through 14 games of action, it would be easy to argue that Fred Hoiberg’s team is the worst in the NBA. However, part of Chicago’s dismal projection was due to the absence of arguably the team’s best player, Zach LaVine, after ACL surgery. On Monday, though, the Bulls received tremendous news in the form of LaVine being cleared to return to practice.
There have been regular updates through LaVine’s rehab process, including some whispers last week that this clearing was on the way. Still, it cannot be overstated just how important it will be for Chicago to get an offensive focal point back on the court and 22-year-old former Dunk Contest champion can theoretically provide that.
LaVine averaged 18.9 points per game last season in Minnesota before being one of the centerpieces in the deal that sent Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves. There are still points of struggle with LaVine when it comes to efficiency and defense, but his shooting has come a long way (39 percent from three last season) and the raw tools are there for the youngster to develop into a functional defensive player in the right system.
Regardless, the Bulls are the definition of a team in need of an influx of talent and Zach LaVine certainly brings a bit of excitement to the mix when he is able to return to full-fledged action.