The Chicago Bulls announced former All-Star guard Zach LaVine will be sidelined for “one week” with right foot soreness, according to the Athletic’s Shams Charania. Chicago’s next three games are against the New Orleans Pelicans, the Charlotte Hornets, and the San Antonio Spurs, but around mid-December, the schedule gets much tougher for the Bulls. As such, bringing LaVine back as soon as possible will be critical for Chicago with such a tough slate of games coming up.
The club already sits at the bottom of the standings in the Eastern Conference, and any prolonged losing streak could make a shot at the playoffs much more difficult. LaVine is averaging 21.0 points per game this year along with 4.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists. Chicago’s offense already ranks No. 26 in the entire NBA, and being without such a potent scoring weapon will only make things worse.
LaVine appeared in 77 games for Chicago last season, and has yet to miss any action during the 2023-24 season. That said, trade rumors regarding LaVine have only grown louder in recent weeks as the Bulls have struggled to compete. LaVine himself recently voiced his frustration.
“It doesn’t feel good,” LaVine said. “It didn’t feel like we would be at this point right now, but that’s our reality. So we’ve got to figure out a way to get out of that.”
Frustrations may come to a head, and it’s an open question whether LaVine finishes the season in Chicago. We may have more insight into that situation soon enough.
December 15 will allow for many more trade possibilities, as players who signed in the offseason signings become trade eligible. If the Bulls are serious about trading LaVine, there will be many more options and new flexibility to execute a deal in a few weeks time.