It has been a dramatic week for Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine.
LaVine sat out of the Bulls’ game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night and while speculation suggested it was due to the trade request he made last week, Bulls’ head coach Billy Donovan told reporters before the game that LaVine has been dealing with a foot sprain.
LaVine suffered the injury in the Bulls’ comeback victory over the Miami Heat on Saturday but he made headlines for what he did after the game.
LaVine chalked the incident up to a miscommunication and that everything was fine between him and the team’s media relations.
Ironically, LaVine is proving that the way he handles his trade request is very much like the way he handles the pressure late in games in that he is confused because he is not a superstar.
For LaVine, the issue is not that he signed a super-max deal with the Bulls. LaVine was in a position where the Bulls were essentially forced to offer him a super-max deal or risk starting their rebuild. In hindsight, yes, the Bulls probably should have started their rebuild instead of signing LaVine to a super-max but at the time, it made sense.
The issue is that LaVine has consistently failed to live up to expectations. The torch was meant to be passed from DeMar DeRozan to LaVine last season but the Bulls’ super-max player would often freeze in moments when he was needed the most.
That is why it will be a refreshing sight to see once LaVine is off the Bulls’ roster and that is something that is undoubtedly happening this season. NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson predicted that LaVine will be traded at some point this season and it may be closer to the trade deadline when teams are firmly identified as contenders.
December 15 will be the first date to watch regarding a potential LaVine trade as that is when players that signed new deals this past summer can be traded.