Zach LaVine not sweating contract extension, anxious to get back in uniform

zachlavinebulls.png
USA TODAY

Zach LaVine not sweating contract extension, anxious to get back in uniform

The Zach LaVine timeline for a Bulls debut remains the same, although he’s ahead of schedule in every metric of his return from ACL surgery this past February.

It doesn’t mean he isn’t angling for more work and pushing his limits to learn the offense he’ll be featured in, along with taking contact “here and there,” in his words. He’s supposed to wait nine months from the day of his February 14 surgery before taking contact, which would put him at a November 14 practice before the Bulls go to Oklahoma City.

“I should be doing contact really soon. It all depends on them,” LaVine said in his first public words since media day several weeks ago. “I’m pushing them as hard as I can, but at the end of the day we still gotta be careful. I feel great. I’m doing everything I was doing before. I’m pretty sure I can do contact, but we’ve got to stick to that schedule. But every day I’m just getting back, trying to as close to 100 percent as I can before I come back.”

LaVine was at Air Canada Centre getting a workout in before the Bulls opener against the Raptors and has gotten in heavy workouts on the off days with the assistant coaches in the meantime.

Sticking to the schedule will be on both LaVine and the Bulls, although both sides could be tempted to cut corners a bit. It would be human nature for the Bulls to show the NBA world their centerpiece from the Jimmy Butler trade on draft night, as well as LaVine to want to be the frontline player he feels he deserves to be.

“Yeah, it’s definitely hard. I don’t like missing games,” LaVine said. “Before the injury I didn’t really miss any games. I think I missed one or two in my career, so it really sucks just sitting there, not being able to help. I try to help as much as I can from the sideline. You know, give a little advice here and there, but yeah it hurts.”

He’s also in line for a big-time extension, having passed the deadline for extensions for players in his 2014 draft class. He’ll have to wait until the summer, especially since it didn’t make sense for him to extend unless it was a max deal.

“Obviously, I want to be here for a long time,” LaVine said. “And I feel the deal is going to get done, either then or next summer. I don’t have any fear in that. I think I know I’ll be in black and red for a little bit longer. I’m very happy and looking forward to that day as well. The main concern is just getting back on the court, get my legs ready and try to help the team as much as possible until then.”

LaVine was averaging a career-high 18.9 points as a third option behind Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, but will be featured in Fred Hoiberg’s offense as a first and maybe even second option, too—especially seeing how anemic the Bulls offense has looked in the first two games.

“With the team that we have and the system that (Fred Hoiberg) put in, we’re going to get up a lot of threes,” LaVine said. “When we’re on we’re going to blow some teams out with those threes. When we’re off, as the last couple games have shown, it’s going to be a struggle to score sometimes, but I think that’s where I can come in and help, and I can’t wait to get out there and start playing.”

Never lacking for confidence, LaVine hasn’t been deterred by the losing or even the unfortunate Bobby Portis-Nikola Mirotic incident from last week.

“We’re building something here. People understand we’re going through a little bit of that process,” LaVine said. “But we’re going to play and win. When I’m on the court, I’m trying to win. Wins and losses do happen. We can always take positives from both of those. That’s how you grow.”

As for Mirotic, LaVine hasn’t spoken to him but has sent texts—as it seems many of the Bulls have reached out to their teammate over the last several days.

“It was unfortunate. That’s what happens when two players are battling I guess,” LaVine said. “I don’t think either of them were in the wrong. It was just something that happened, an altercation. Men are men sometimes. We never should have that happen. But I think we’ve moved past it. Bobby’s in a good spot. We’ve all tried to contact Niko. I think we’ll all be able to move forward.”

Thanks for everything: Jimmy Butler buys sushi dinner for Bulls staffers

jimmybutler.png
USA TODAY

Thanks for everything: Jimmy Butler buys sushi dinner for Bulls staffers

Jimmy Butler never had the greatest relationship with Bulls upper management. But his presence on the team and the lasting impression he left on the organization was felt on Sunday.

According to Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson, Butler treated a group of current Bulls staffers to a three-hour dinner at Katana, a new sushi restaurant in River North.

Butler, who was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves on draft night, was in town to attend Dwyane Wade's youth basketball camp in New Lenox over the weekend.

According to Johnson, Butler wanted to say "goodbye and thank you" to the staff, which included "behind-the-scenes staffers like salespeople and media relations officials and digital production staffers."

 

Jimmy Butler literally has a pair of shoes for every day of year

Jimmy Butler literally has a pair of shoes for every day of year

Ever wonder what it would be like to have a pair of shoes that could match any piece of clothing you own?

Just take a look at Jimmy Butler's closet.

 (photo via Redfin)

The former Bulls swingman, whose River North mansion recently went on the market for $5 million after he was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, has a room filled to the brim that houses nothing but sneakers — which are predominately Jordan Brand as Butler is signed to the iconic company.

"It's really all Jordan. I rep that brand," Butler said via Complex Magazine. "I don't wear too many Nikes. That's it. I'm a Jordan guy, head to toe, unless I got on moccasins."

Don't expect Butler to leave any of his shoes behind when he makes the move to Minnesota.

However, his fish tank may be another story.

Butler was the focal point of an episode of "Tanked" on Animal Planet in 2015, in which he had a 6,000-pound boombox-shaped aquarium installed in his house.  

According to DNAinfo, via Dream Town Realty, there's no word on whether or not the fish tank is included in the listing price.

Check out more photos of Butler's six-bedroom, 10,000-square foot house, via Redfin below: