Zach LaVine Chicago Bulls

6bb09e7235a33f83a1aa72ec17ade612_crop_exact

Age: 23

Free-Agent Status: Restricted

2017-18 Per-Game Stats: 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.2 blocks, 38.3 percent shooting

Advanced Stats: 14.6 PER, minus-34.93 TPA, minus-3.41 RPM

Bringing back Zach LaVine shouldn’t be too expensive for the Chicago Bulls. Rival teams aren’t bankrolling over-the-top offers for someone who appeared in just 24 games after an ACL injury and then finished the season on the shelf with tendinitis in that same left knee.

Chicago’s predicament is more about principle.

LaVine was originally the crown jewel of last summer’s Jimmy Butler trade. Putting a hard cap on his value is akin to admitting Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen are more important to the future and that the Bulls flubbed at least part of said deal.

Functional stubbornness could prevent general manager Gar Forman and vice president of basketball operations John Paxson from making that call. After all, who punts on the centerpiece of a blockbuster trade barely one year later? nfl custom jerseys cheap And LaVine was injured when they acquired him, suggesting the Bulls have always intended to play the long game.

Taking that can’t-go-back-now stance has more than financial repercussions. Overpaying LaVine would be a hindrance, but keeping him at all becomes problematic no matter the cost if it crimps the development of those around him.

Someone like Markkanen, who depends on others to get him the ball, is specifically at risk of suffering inadvertent reversion. LaVine averaged 19.5 field-goal attempts per 36 minutes in Chicago—ninth-most among every player cheap custom nfl jerseys to appear in more than 20 games this season. That volume begets an awkward pecking in which the Bulls are almost marking him their closest thing to a cornerstone.

As Blog A Bull’s Easy Eis wrote:

“In 12 of the 19 games that Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen have played together this season, the former has taken more shots than the latter. For a team trying to develop their top ten first round pick into a franchise cornerstone, cheap customized nfl jerseys that simply cannot happen. The Bulls have the luxury right now of very little pressure to play winning basketball, so the focus should clearly be on getting their stars of tomorrow comfortable with a consistent leader’s workload.

“By this point, most would acknowledge Markkanen’s progress is directly tied to the Bulls’ future, and Dunn at the very least looks like a quality two-way NBA point guard. There’s no questioning LaVine’s present talent and his potential upside, but is waiting to find out if he can fulfill such promise worth jeopardizing the ceilings of two players that—at this point—bring far more immediate and long-term value to the team as a whole?”

Figuring out what to do next is not an enviable position. Maybe the market is so cold it won’t matter. cheap nfl custom jerseys And it would be unreasonable to declare LaVine irrelevant to the Bulls’ future. He needs more than 24 games of rust-ridden availability.

Likewise, though, it would be irrational and intractable of Chicago to view him as indispensable. Good luck determining how much that player is worth.