Only a couple names went off the board of 2014 draftees who reached agreements on extensions with their teams, with Zach LaVine sitting on the sidelines as the midnight deadline came and went. His debut in a Bulls uniform and contract will have to wait. Although LaVine’s representatives and the Bulls front office remained in communication, there was never any serious talk of a deal being reached and he’ll hit restricted free agency this summer. The Bulls will have a better picture of what type of player LaVine is post-surgery on his left knee, and LaVine will have a chance to reconstruct his market value the way he’s done to his knee—as evidenced by his casual stroll down the lane, two dribbles and two-handed dunk while running a dummy offense with the assistant coaches over the weekend at the Advocate Center. His return isn’t imminent, as he’s still weeks away from being cleared to practice, following the track of his rehab from surgery. Perhaps in a bit of curious timing, Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg was talking about LaVine, saying his future shooting guard wasn’t going through much in the way of 5-on-0 drills. “The big focus right now is on his rehab,” Hoiberg said. But considering how few options Hoiberg has on a team that isn’t expected to win more than 20 games, the thought of how he’ll use LaVine on the floor in this offense isn’t unrealistic. “He's doing a lot of unpredictable movements, but a lot of that is 1-on-0 workouts. Yeah, absolutely there's things we look at and see actions that other teams might be running for their skilled players or shooters.” Justin Holiday will be keeping the seat warm for LaVine until LaVine is completely healed from his surgery, and while the Bulls are adhering to the nine-month recovery prognosis after his February surgery, his return will be highly anticipated.
No surprise as Bulls, Zach LaVine decide to wait on contract extension
NBC Chicago | Oct 17