Bulls to announce Zach LaVine’s return Tuesday

SHARE Bulls to announce Zach LaVine’s return Tuesday
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Zach LaVine is expected to make his season debut next week. | AP Photo

After being sidelined for ­nearly a year with a torn ­anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, it’s only a matter of time before guard Zach LaVine makes his season debut.

LaVine and his representatives met with the Bulls’ front office and coaching staff Monday afternoon to discuss his imminent return.

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Coach Fred Hoiberg wouldn’t reveal the meeting’s conclusion before the Bulls hosted the Rockets.

Vice president of basketball operations John Paxson is expected to announce LaVine’s timetable to return before practice Tuesday.

LaVine arguably is the centerpiece of the Jimmy Butler trade, but the Bulls have yet to witness LaVine at full throttle because of the injury he suffered last February.

Point guard Kris Dunn, who came over from the Timberwolves with LaVine, has seen firsthand what LaVine is capable of. He said LaVine will bring a new dynamic to the team’s offense.

“[LaVine is] a guy that can create — and for others, too,” Dunn said. “He’s another playmaker on the court and will make the game a lot easier for everybody.

“I played with Zach last year. I understand his game. I know his spots, and if he gets the ball off the rim or someone passes it to him in transition, let him go. . . . We know how to feed off each other. We know how to read each other. We’ve played together. It’s not a difficult thing for us.”

The insertion of LaVine, 22, into the starting lineup likely will move Denzel Valentine into a reserve role. LaVine’s minutes will be restricted at first.

Mirotic to the Jazz?

Forward Nikola Mirotic has made it clear he wants out of Chicago.

The Sun-Times reported last month that Mirotic is willing to waive the no-trade clause in his contract, which would make him eligible to be dealt Jan. 15. And now it seems that Mirotic has been eyeing one team in particular.

The Jazz have “intrigued” Mirotic as a potential future landing spot, according to ESPN.

Mirotic could be a boost for the Jazz on the perimeter. Utah is making 36.8 percent of its three-pointers.

Mirotic is enjoying his best season in the NBA after making his season debut in December.

He’s putting up career-high numbers across the board, averaging 17.4 points and seven rebounds. He’s also shooting 46.5 percent from three-point range.

Although Mirotic, who didn’t play against the Rockets because of a stomach virus, is reportedly interested in joining the Jazz, it’s unclear whether the attraction is mutual.

Mama’s boys

David Nwaba and Robin ­Lopez consider themselves ­“mama’s boys” and said they’re looking forward to the Bulls moms’ trip to New York this week.

The players are taking their moms to New York ahead of the game Wednesday against the Knicks. The mothers will enjoy a spa day Tuesday, then will be treated to a nice dinner.

Follow me on Twitter @madkenney.

Email: mkenney@suntimes.com

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