LaVine is slated to play Saturday when the Bulls host the Pistons — the same night as his bobblehead will be shared with fans.
According to WGN, LaVine was acquired in a draft-day trade that sent Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to a news outlet.
LaVine’s debut, according to the news outlet, happens after a surgery on a torn ACL in his left knee 11 months ago. And lucky for LaVine, his debut is the same night as the plan for the Bull’s to share LaVine’s likeness with fans.
Last season, according to WGN, LaVine averaged 18.9 points per game for Minnesota and has not played since tearing his ACL during a Feb. 3 game versus Detroit. Back on Feb.14th the 22-year-old had surgery and was traded to Chicago along with Kris Dunn and the pick used to select Lauri Markkanen.
According to the news outlet, thanks to LaVine’s rehab regimen – he is ready to get back on the court for team’s final 40 games. Chicago’s executive vice president of basketball operations, John Paxson, said Tuesday will begin to limit LaVine to 20 minutes per game, easing him back gradually into the rotation.
Paxson said to the news outlet that the team has yet to decide whether LaVine will start or come off the bench. WGN reports, according to Paxson, that Chicago will not play LaVine in the second game of consecutive contests on Feb. 9-10 due to precautionary reasons.
“This is the continuation and ending of his rehab,” he said to the news outlet. “That’s how we’re looking at it. We’re going to continue a conservative approach with him. He has done everything at such a top level getting back ready to play. And I know he’s really anxious to.”
According to WGN, LaVine could have returned on Wednesday when the Bulls paid a visit to the New York Knicks, but his representation made the choice to wait a few more days. After LaVine returned to practice back in late November as well as went through a training-camp like session through early January – LaVine said he is ready for the next step and understands why the team plans to be cautious with him at the start.
“I’m OK with everything,” LaVine said to the news outlet. “I’ve got to be OK with that. That’s where you start, I know it’s not going to stay there. It’s just part of getting back. Even though I’m back, it’s the last part of me getting back with the little bit of restriction…..I know how to play, I know the way I want to play. I know it’s going to take a little time to get the rhythm back but regardless I think I can do some things.”
According to WGN, Coach Fred Hoiberg is ready and ecstatic to insert LaVine into the team.
“(LaVine) does fit with how we are playing right now, pace has been really good,” Hoiberg said to the news outlet. “Really the last month of the season, the guys are starting to understand and get out and run and get things accomplished early in the possession, and Zach certainly fits into that as well, so he’s a guy who can shoot it ? you have a lot of plays to get him shots coming off screens. I think he’ll be really good.”