Bulls’ Zach LaVine eager to get back to full strength
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The Bulls aren’t rushing to push guard Zach LaVine to his limits just yet.
After LaVine was sidelined for nearly a year with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, the Bulls have been cautious with him since his return.
LaVine, who is one of the centerpieces of the Bulls’ rebuild, made his season debut last month, but the team restricted him to less than 20 minutes in his first four games. The minutes restriction has eased in the games since, but the Bulls still are giving him plenty of rest and haven’t allowed him to play on back-to-back nights.
LaVine said it has been hard not to be able to play in back-to-back games, especially after his season-high 35-point performance Friday against the Timberwolves. At the same time, LaVine is trying to remain patient with the process, something easier said than done.
‘‘You get your rhythm that way, you know, playing back-to-back nights,’’ said LaVine, who sat out Saturday against the Wizards at the United Center. ‘‘But it’s something I’ve just gotta do for my safety this year, and it sucks. I’m here supporting [my teammates], and I think we have more than enough to win.”
LaVine might not play in consecutive games anytime soon. Coach Fred Hoiberg said the Bulls will re-evaluate that after the All-Star break.
Although LaVine is eager for more playing time, he has shown he’s still capable of high-flying dunks and big performances. He has scored at least 20 points in each of his last four games, which is a career-long streak for him. He’ll have a chance to break that Monday against the Magic.
Former Bulls guard Derrick Rose has had a roller coaster of a season.
After reinventing himself during the offseason, Rose was looking for a fresh start with the Cavaliers. But he missed time with an ankle injury early in the season, then took a leave of absence to re-evaluate his basketball future.
He rejoined the Cavaliers in December but was traded to the Jazz at the deadline Thursday. The Jazz waived him Saturday.
Rose’s future in the NBA is unknown, but he might not have to hang up his sneakers just yet. The Wizards reportedly are looking at signing Rose, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
Rose joining the Wizards would make sense because guard John Wall still is facing several more weeks of rehab after having knee surgery in January.
‘‘It must be right if ESPN reported it, right?’’ Wizards coach Scott Brooks said of the report before the game. ‘‘We’re happy with what we have. We have a couple of starters out [Saturday], but hopefully we can execute well enough to win.
‘‘If something presents itself that makes sense, we will look into it. But right now, we’re focused on what we have here.’’
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