Chicago Bulls: 4 things to know going into regular season

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
4 of 5
Zach LaVine Chicago Bulls
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

3: Expect nothing less than a career-year from Zach LaVine

The cards have all been laid out. The check has been written; the contract signed. LaVine is a Bull for the next few years and, regardless of how his development and ascension (or lack thereof) pan out, the Bulls are stuck with him.

I was one of the fans who wasn’t sure about bringing him back. If the Sacramento Kings wanted to pay him nearly $20 million per year, I would have been just fine if Chicago had let him walk — more money to use next summer in a big free agency year, plus a likely-higher draft pick.

But, the Bulls inked LaVine and now it is safe to say that we expect nothing less than a career-year from the former UCLA Bruin. He’s healthy. He’s lighter, stronger and has had a full offseason of work for the first time in two years.

More. Bulls: Markkanen injury could have huge impacts. light

Most recently, LaVine proved he could score and score efficiently in a preseason loss to the Charlotte Hornets. In 25 minutes, LaVine went 9-for-15 and dropped 26 points (4-for-6 from long distance). He did turn the ball over three times, but the fact that this was a preseason tilt makes it something I can overlook.

It’s pretty simple. If LaVine takes the leap into stardom (not necessarily superstardom), this Bulls team has a bright future. If not, they might always be that team competing for the last remaining playoff spot only to get bounced in the first round. They need a guy like LaVine to break out, period.