Zach LaVine is very forgiving.
The Bulls guard has shown that throughout his nine-year career, whether it was an organization that traded him, a front office that matched a contract offer instead of making one, or coaches that doubted him. .
Lavin always kept moving forward.
It doesn’t mean that he forgets.
According to one source, while the LaVine-Billy Donovan player-coach relationship is still very workable, it remains somewhat strained since the November 18, late-game benching in which Donovan sparred with LaVine in the final minutes against Orlando. Chose to ride out of the game.
LaVine expressed his displeasure with Donovan’s decision shortly after the game, saying “It’s Billy’s decision, he’s going to have to live with it. Do I agree with it? No. I think I can go out there and make some shots if I can.” Even if I miss him, I can stay the same. It’s his decision and he has to stick to it.”
The two spoke right after that benching and were able to put up at least enough duct tape to make the bridge functional, but evident from the way he was called out by teammates in the embarrassing December 18 loss at Minnesota. Lavin was unhappy with the appearance. As well as Donovan’s late-game set giving DeMar DeRozan options 1A and 1B.
While the locker room incident had nothing to do with Donovan, it was not as if the coach had thrown a life saver to anyone involved, and as far as LaVine is concerned, the late game win since DeRozan’s arrival He told the Sun-Times last week, “I think we need to start figuring out how we can take some different actions in those situations.”
So how big of a deal should Donovan and LaVine’s relationship be in the long-distance realm of things? Very few in fact.
Donovan was locked into a contract extension in the fall, while LaVine signed a max contract in the summer that locked him in for the next five years, including a $48.9 million player option for the 2026–27 season. was also involved.
Plus, LaVine has a precedent for not being on the same page as a head coach and still operating at a high level.
The LaVine-Jim Boylen relationship was much more damaged than the two-time All-Star’s present with Donovan, and it never affected LaVine’s on-the-court play.
LaVine is very good at compiling issues with teammates and coaches, which is essential to winning games, and always is.
The proof has been front-end center, with LaVine averaging 27.5 points per game in his last 10 starts, while also shooting 52.8% from the field and 51.4% from three-point range. The Bulls are 7–3 in that time, including wins over New York, Milwaukee and Brooklyn.
It could be interesting where the bulls end up on February 9th when the trade deadline hits the union?
Plus he’s been playing since mid-December, LaVine’s trade value has never been higher than it is now at any point this season.
Does Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Arturas Karnisova believe in LaVine and this team enough to stay Pat or become a buyer? The next three weeks could go a long way in determining that, especially if the Bulls can stay hot on the softer side of the schedule.
LaVine made it very clear what he thinks they should do, but also that he’s staying out of it.
“Every year I am asked the same question [around the] trade deadline,” LaVine said. “Whoever’s on our team, I fight with those guys, I play for them. I’m happy to be in this team, and I’m happy to say that I have confidence in whoever we play against.
“The front office will do what they have to do because it is their job and their livelihood. I do what I do on the court.
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