The Chicago Bulls made a big bet to land Zach LaVine, sending a bona fide star in Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for the two-time dunk contest winner who was recovering from ACL surgery, unproven young point guard Kris Dunn, and the right to move up nine slots in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft.
So far, it’s looking it’ll be the rare trade of a disgruntled star that actually pays off.
With the seventh pick, having swapped it with the 16th in the trade, the Bulls selected Lauri Markkanen, who’s putting up numbers that in most years would make him the outright Rookie of the Year. Dunn has taken a leap—he’s third in the NBA in steals per game, second in steal percentage, and ninth in assist percentage.
And LaVine, well, let’s see how his hops were doing in just his 11th game back from surgery on his ACL:
Zach Lavine strip included before the dunk on JaKarr Sampson pic.twitter.com/pcPVHsku7s
— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD2_) February 6, 2018
Even the Sacramento Kings Twitter accounts had to give the 22-year-old Bulls guard props.
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) February 6, 2018
Chicago has been slowly ramping up LaVine’s workload since his return on January 13. Last night he played a season-high 31 minutes, dropping 27 points on 9-of-18 shooting in a 104-98 loss.