Zach LaVine on when he will be back on the floor: “As soon as possible.” Says his vertical is higher than it was before the injury.
There's no timetable just yet for LaVine's return to action this season. He has been progressing steadily all summer in his rehab, with no worries that he'll be able to return to the athleticism that has become a hallmark of his game. Weeks ago, the Bulls were looking to analyze his progress to date, putting LaVine through a series of drills and tests. His standing vertical leap tested higher than even his pre-draft measurements, according to a league source.
Marc J. Spears: Bulls guard @Zach LaVine says he's ahead of schedule from knee surgery and he will be ready for training camp. @ESPYS
"I'm attacking this injury like I do everything in life, working my butt off for it every day," the personable LaVine said. "I feel like with my ability I'm able to come back early. But I really haven't set a timetable for that. I'm very confident that I'll come back better. This has given me time to work on my mental game, my strength and learn the game more. I have no fear at all coming back from this."
Vincent Goodwill: As for LaVine, still a-ways away from substantial basketball activity. “Training softly” it’s being termed. ACL is not something to rush
KC Johnson: Thibodeau consistently raved about LaVine's work ethic. He has been progressing well in rehab from Feb. ACL tear.
Jon Krawczynski: Ricky Rubio said this about LaVine and I agree with him: He's moving remarkably well for less than 2 months from the injury. Walking freely
The 22-year-old is not worried that the major injury came during a breakout third season in the league, or that it may eventually complicate talks about a possible big-money extension. Instead, LaVine said he is attacking the long, mundane rehab process the same way he attacks the gym for workouts that helped turn him into one of the rising young stars in the league. "Going out here like I'm going to get 500 shots. Instead, I'm doing 500 leg lifts," LaVine said. "It's the same difference. Everything's been positive with me. I'm just focused."
"It seems like he didn't have surgery," Rubio said. "He's walking around here, and me and (Rush) spent like six weeks with crutches. He's shooting already. He's a freak athlete, and you can tell the way he's recovering, if the season was one or two months more, he probably would play."
The hardest part will be avoiding the mental let-downs that can come from such a long, grueling period of time away from the game. Timberwolves joked that he has a simple plan for helping LaVine to feel like he's a part of the team while he's out. "Yell at him daily," Thibodeau deadpanned. "The first time I got back, he almost poked me a little bit and said, 'I ain't yelled at you in (a month). Let me get some frustration out,'" LaVine said. "It's still funny."
With Zach LaVine out since Feb. 3 because of a torn ACL in his left knee, Towns and Wiggins have had to shoulder even more of the load. The sense of urgency has worn well on the reigning rookie of the year. "Desperation makes you do a lot of things you couldn't normally do," Towns said. "Being so close to the playoffs, I have a lot of desperation trying to play the best that I can so I can try to help us get to the playoffs and get that eighth spot."
Dieng misses the familiarity of the two-man game they often played together and how LaVine’s ability to stretch the floor with his three-point shooting and to attack the rim, created room in which Dieng could work. “Honestly, I’ve been struggling without him on the court because I know a lot of stuff when I pop [off a screen] or a when I roll,” Dieng said. “He knows when to hit me, where to give me the ball.”
“Both of us were on the bench, we started when Flip was here,” Dieng said. “We get to know each other. That’s how that two-man game start, with me and Zach. He was on the bench and wanted to play. I was, too. When we got in, I tried to get him the ball and he’d try to hit me.”
The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that guard Zach LaVine will undergo surgery to reconstruct a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in his left knee on Tuesday, February 14. The surgery will be performed in Los Angeles by Dr. Neal ElAttrache of Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in collaboration with Timberwolves Team Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Diane Dahm of Mayo Clinic. Timberwolves Director of Athletic Therapy Matt Duhamel will accompany LaVine to Los Angeles.
Jabari Parker: @ZachLaVine. Just wanted to reach out and say keep your head high bro. You going to be jumping even higher soon, trust me, I know lol.
LeBron James: Don't know you personally but love your talent homie. Have a healthy and speedy recovery @ZachLaVine!! Minor set back/major comeback.
Timberwolves PR: #Twolves guard Zach LaVine will miss the remainder of the season after MRI reveals a torn ACL in left knee.
Jamal Crawford: Prayers up for my little brother @zachlavine. The way you work I know you'll be back better than ever!!! Love
Shabazz Muhammad: Pray up for my teammate and brother @Zach LaVine I know he will come back stronger then ever! 🙏
Tim MacMahon: Timberwolves SG Zach LaVine hopes to play against the Mavs after missing the previous two games due to a hip contusion. The final decision will be made after he warms up.
June 25, 2022 | 6:51 am EDT Update
But whatever the case, teams are reportedly making preparations for the Nets star potentially being available in the coming days. That’s according to ESPN insider Zach Lowe on a post-NBA draft episode of his Lowe Post podcast: “I can tell you this. This is what teams are doing. Teams are already operating under, not the assumption, but ‘we need to prepare for the contingency that Kevin Durant is available via trade in six days or seven days.’ … The whole league is now.”
Rumors have it that if Irving ends up leaving the Nets, Durant could also ask out. For Windhorst, trying to trade for KD after the Irving situation blew up would be something the Heat could do. “The godfather move is not to trade for Kyrie Irving. The godfather move is to let the Kyrie Irving situation to blow up and then wait for Kevin Durant to say he wants out of there. That’s the Miami Heat move,” Windhorst said on ESPN’s Get Up.
Woj also said that while Irving has given the Nets six NBA destinations he’d prefer if there’s no agreement, there is limited interest in him at max money. The ESPN insider said the only team with any real interest is the Lakers. Still, he argued, getting Irving a contract paying more than $6.3 million — the taxpayers MLE — seems unlikely. “This is getting acrimonious,” Woj told a panel on ESPN’s NBA analysts. “and I think that’s the concern when you look at not only Kyrie’s future in Brooklyn, but also Kevin Durant’s future and whether they can hold this thing together.”
Woj also was clear that with some of Irving’s six landing spots, not all of them reciprocate. “The interest isn’t mutual in several of these places,” Woj said. “Obviously the Lakers are the ones that loom. And will Kyrie Irving walk away from a $36.9 million player option that he can opt into and have that money guaranteed, especially after a year where he lost about $17 million by not being vaccinated last year and untold more with a sneaker deal that isn’t going to be there anymore, certainly at the level it was.”
Several teams have already been linked to a potential swoop on Kyrie if his contract negotiations with the Nets continue to deteriorate. Be that as it may, NBA analyst Chris Broussard believes that Irving’s options aren’t actually as vast as some might think: “Half of these teams don’t even want Kyrie,” Broussard said on First Things First. “I was texting with someone that works for one of these teams yesterday, ‘You want Kyrie?’ ‘No!’ It was the fastest return text I’ve ever got. And then, ‘What do you think of his wish list?’ ‘Tomfoolery & wishful thinking.’ That was the answer.”
Jake Fischer on Dejounte Murray: The Spurs have a really high asking price for him. They’ve told multiple teams that I’ve spoken to have called them that the price is a Jrue Holiday-like deal, three first-round picks seems to be the benchmark.