Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine will make his debut for the franchise on Saturday. But the 22-year-old carries an interesting perspective.
While he is certainly still young, this will be his fourth professional season. His field goal percentage, points per game and minutes per game increased during each of his first three years in the league. Expect him to continue to improve once he’s back with regular playing time.
So when he said he felt he had the most experience out of anyone on the Bulls, he was not necessarily wrong. Chicago does not have a roster with much experience playing together, as explained by former Bulls big man Luc Longley (via Omnisport):
“The only thing I can see, every team and every franchise benefits from continuity. They’ve had a lot of change over the years with rosters and stuff … The Rose-Noah period had some consistency through it. Since then, it’s changed a fair bit. I’m sure they’ll be looking for a couple of characters and players that they can be consistent with going into the next decade.”
LaVine, 22, is actually the second-youngest player on the roster with a fully guaranteed contract. The only player who is younger is 20-year-old rookie Lauri Markkanen.
But only three players (Robin Lopez, Quincy Pondexter and Justin Holiday) have played more games than LaVine. Even Holiday has played just 37 more games so far in their careers.
Chicago is tied with the Suns for the youngest overall NBA roster. Nikola Mirotic, 26, is one of the older players on the roster and may soon be on his way out via trade.