No offense to Zach Lavine, whose first month on the court with the Bulls included consecutive games of 23, 21, 27 and 35 points, but the high-flying guard will have to settle for — at best — third-banana status if and when the team’s rebuild comes to fruition.
You said so yourselves. Nearly half of voters in this week’s “Your Turn” poll named rookie forward Lauri Markkanen as the player who’s the biggest key to the rebuild. That far outdistances Dunn, who even trails the unknown — whichever player the Bulls select with their top pick in June’s draft.
Is there something about LaVine — who was a sixth man in his only season at UCLA — that makes him easy to overlook? There are those who still view last June’s blockbuster trade with the Timberwolves as a matter of Jimmy Butler’s stardom vs. Markkanen’s potential, as if forgetting that LaVine (not to mention Kris Dunn, a distant fourth in the poll) also was moved.
LaVine averaged 18.9 points in Minnesota before last season’s ACL injury, is a two-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion and — sneaky-young alert — is only 22. Just saying: Even if voters aren’t bananas for the guy, he’s pretty good.
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