If the Bulls just manage to score more than 69 points (pleasant) this afternoon, I will consider it a success!
- If one thing is certain, Zach LaVine and the Chicago Bulls front office are aligned. The two-time All-Star has done nothing but praise the new brass since coming on board in 2020. Not only did the two sides work together to recruit other star-level talent to the roster a summer ago, but they sat down this offseason to sign a new five-year contract. He has repeatedly hinted at this solid relationship with Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley. speaking with reporters on Mondayeven echoing their enduring message of continuity.
“It’s always better when you get to know each other…having chemistry on the court doesn’t just happen in a year or two,” LaVine said. “All the good teams you see can go to a deep playoff every year know each other and have been together for a while. I think that’s something you can definitely establish and develop.
- LaVine smiled at the repeated use of the word “continuity,” saying he prefers the term “familiarity.” Regardless of the word used, however, the message is clear: LaVine thinks the Bulls have enough to stay competitive with an ever-improving Eastern Conference. All he prays to the basketball gods for is health:
“It was tough because we started so well,” LaVine said of the 2021-22 season. “We could see the ceiling and the goal for the team in the first half of the season… I think we already had some key additions, adding guys like Goran and Drummond. I think it’s going to be fine, as long as the guys stay healthy. I think that’s the most important thing for everyone.
- Ultimately, I don’t think that sentiment is entirely wrong. Health is always the most important thing, and no one the Bulls could have added this season (apart from a massive move like trading for Rudy Gobert) would have changed that fact. Now, that said, there are things the Bulls could have done to significantly expand their margin of error, and I’m just not sure they did those things. Does LaVine really think Drummond and Dragic are properly plugging this team’s 3-point shooting and rim protection holes? I would love to drink expensive wine with him and find out.
- Basketball is a game, and LaVine reminded us of that while talking about the upcoming birth of her first child.
“I’m extremely excited,” LaVine said. “Obviously the relationship I have with my dad, I can’t wait to take on this challenge and see what this part of my life is. It’s bigger than basketball, it’s bigger It’s nervous, anxious, excited all in the same thing. I know how to play basketball, it’s something I haven’t done yet. I can’t wait to be there.
- Congratulations to the LaVines! I can’t wait to see all the adorable Baby LaVine content we’ll get in Chicago over the next five seasons.
- The NBA Board of Governors is expected to meet later today and discuss some pretty big changes. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday that the league is likely to make the Play-In Tournament an official part of the playoff format, and Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports also said they would talk about finally penalizing the “Take Foul”. As for an in-season tournament, Marc Stein says these discussions should also continue:
- Stein notes that there will be conversations about the league’s payroll disparity, but what the hell are they actually going to do about it? If anything, the Warriors should be getting their props to actually spend like the big market team they are. I would love for some other historically beloved team to do that (*cough* Bulls *cough*).
- Athletic have released the next edition of their Top 125 Players list. After Ayo Dosunmu, Alex Caruso and Nikola Vucevic broke through the 85-125 range yesterday, Lonzo Ball landed in the 60-84 range. I’m curious to see where DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine end up.
- The Boston Celtics put 25-year-old Matt Ryan on their Summer League roster this season, and he made a big impression on Monday.
- The reason I bring this up is to share the interview below. Give him a watch:
- Old friend Tomas Satoransky officially says goodbye to the NBA. The veteran point guard has signed a lucrative contract to join Barcelona.
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROOKIE!
- Tab is live from dev camp this week!