KC Johnson: Same drill for Zach LaVine vs. Jazz: Warm u…

More on Zach LaVine Injury

KC Johnson: Boylen on LaVine return: "I’m not eyeing a return date but I’m optimistic. He was bright eyed today. His eyes looked better, like he had more confidence in things getting better. Our training and medical staff is optimistic. He wants to play. He was in a nice groove, nice rhythm"
Malika Andrews: Zach LaVine (right patellar tendon strain) is out tonight against the Lakers, Jim Boylen said. He continues to be day-to-day.
KC Johnson: Zach LaVine and his lingering sore ankles isn’t listed on Bulls injury report. Nikola Mirotic is listed as out for Bucks even though he expressed optimism he’d play. If that holds, he still won’t have played as visitor at United Center.
Malika Andrews: After missing five games with a sprained ankle, Zach LaVine checks in for the Bulls. Before the game, Jim Boylen said that LaVine did feel some extra incentive to play in tonight’s game because it’s against his former team.
KC Johnson: Zach LaVine has been upgraded to questionable (50-50) for Bulls-Timberwolves game, which is one day shy of the front end of 2- to 4-week window Bulls gave after LaVine sprained right ankle.
His hope is that his hope is his sprained left ankle will be in game shape come Dec. 26, when the Timberwolves stroll into the United Center. His coach made it sound like a real possibility. “I do,’’ Boylen said, when asked if he felt LaVine was close to a return. “I hate to make like a definitive timeline, but he seems to be improving every day, he’s positive, and I think it’s something our people feel can heal, and it’s healing.’’
Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine will miss 2-4 weeks with a sprained deltoid ligament in his left ankle, Jim Boylen told reporters on Wednesday. "We've gotten all the information we need to," Boylen said. "We feel safe saying that's kind of where it's at."
KC Johnson: Boylen on LaVine: "He’s seeing our guys right now. And he’s going to see some specialists because we want to get as much information as we can. And then we’ll get a diagnosis and start building a rehab schedule." Translated: LaVine is almost certain to miss time beyond next 2.
His legs were stronger from endless weight training he had done as part of his rehabilitation, but his body wasn’t right. He had put on weight, shooting past 210 and suddenly lugging nearly 15 more pounds than he was accustomed to carrying. And he didn’t trust any of it. Publicly, Zach LaVine maintained that his surgically repaired left knee was fine, and structurally it was. But deep down, he knew he something was off. He wouldn’t talk about it, rejecting rust or a lack of rhythm as factors to a so-so return to action. That was window dressing, a prideful athlete willing his mind to believe something his body wasn’t quite ready to do.
For Zach LaVine, it’s been a long, hard road to recovery. But nearly 21 months after suffering a career-altering injury, LaVine and those who know him best can finally say he’s back. Their hope, which is rooted in tireless and meticulous work, is that he’s also better than ever. “He just felt he was a shadow of himself last year, and the Bulls fans didn’t really get to see the true Zach LaVine coming off that injury,” said Tony Willis, a longtime family friend and trainer to LaVine. “So he’s super motivated to get back to where he was and to surpass that.”
Nick Friedell: Hoiberg stressed that he is excited for LaVine to be able to start the season healthy with the Bulls. Last season as he recovered from ACL injury, LaVine spent much of his time getting reps with Windy City Bulls before returning to the floor.
Nick Friedell: From Bulls perspective on LaVine, 4 yrs for $60 mil has always felt like preferred number to them. At 23, nobody is sure what kind of player he'll become. If I'm the Bulls I'm not going too much higher than that because I'm still not convinced he's worth that big of an investment
KC Johnson: Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn are done for season, per Bulls. Not enough time/practices to get them in game shape.
Bulls guard Zach LaVine finds himself in a non-negotiable situation. That’s why begging coach Fred Hoiberg for even a sniff of playing time in either overtime Monday would have fallen on deaf ears. Not that LaVine didn’t think about it, especially as he sat on the bench and watched his teammates lose their grip on a game they owned most of the evening. ‘‘It should have never gotten to that point,’’ LaVine said, referring to the Bulls’ double-overtime loss to the Pelicans.
LaVine resides in the land of minutes restrictions these days. In his first three games after returning from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, it was a firm 20. In his last two, it was bumped up to 24. More is not an option. ‘‘I don’t think I’m going to play any more minutes [than they allow],’’ LaVine said. ‘‘I think it’s a set schedule right now, regardless of how I do or how I’m feeling.’’ That means what he makes of those minutes is what matters in his road back from the injury. ‘‘It sucked that I had to sit out the remainder of the game, but that’s just the way it is right now,’’ LaVine said. ‘‘So I’ve got to deal with it.’’
Nick Friedell: Zach LaVine hits a three with his first shot. After missing almost a year -- that one had to feel particularly nice.
Nick Friedell: Fred Hoiberg is excited for Zach LaVine to cross the last hurdle in his return. LaVine will play about 20 minutes tonight. Hoiberg is hopeful LaVine will be able to play a few more minutes in a week or so.
When asked for a prediction on how LaVine would do, Wiggins predicted 30 points. Not likely, considering LaVine will be on a 20-minute limit to start with. But both Wiggins and Towns will be rooting their friend on. “I’m happy for him,’’ Towns said. “He’s been working tremendously hard to get back on the court, and anyone who knows Zach knows he’s a hard worker. He itches to play the game of basketball every day.’’
“I know he’s going to kill it,’’ Wiggins said of LaVine. “We still talk all the time. He’s excited. He’s been ready to come back for a long time. He worked so hard to get to this point. I think he’ll go out and kill it.’’
Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, the centerpiece of this offseason’s blockbuster Jimmy Butler trade, will make his season debut on Saturday against the Detroit Pistons, the team announced. LaVine, who was recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in February as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, will be limited to 20 minutes per game initially, according to Bulls executive vice president John Paxson, and won't play the second night of back-to-backs before the All-Star break.
KC Johnson: Bulls say exec VP John Paxson will update how meeting to set Zach LaVine’s debut went before practice Tuesday. As of yesterday, sounded like his window to possibly play started Saturday vs. Pistons.
The Chicago Bulls hope to decide on a return date for guard Zach LaVine early next week. LaVine will travel with the team to games at Dallas and Indiana on Friday and Saturday. Coach Fred Hoiberg says the two-time slam dunk champion will meet with doctors, trainers, management and coaches after the Bulls return home.
Fred Hoiberg says Zach LaVine has had a few good practices in a row. He will continue working out with the Bulls this week. Then the Bulls' front office and medical staff will meet with LaVine over the weekend and they will decide what the next step will be as far as playing goes.
Chicago G Zach LaVine (left ACL) was slated to practice with Windy City of the G League on Tuesday night. Hoiberg said LaVine, who sustained a minor back strain about a week ago, will practice with Chicago on Thursday and begin six straight days of practice with contact on Saturday. "He's got a lot of hurdles to clear yet in the process, but it's going to be good to get him back with consecutive days of full-contact practice and we'll see how he responds," Hoiberg said.
KC Johnson: Sounding more and more like LaVine's debut will be in January, not December. He's currently on an every other day plan. Hoiberg said they want multiple consecutive days of work.
KC Johnson: LaVine: "I’ve been working out for the last eight, nine months and you come in and play 5-on-5 and you’re tired in 3 minutes. Just got to get that down, get my rhythm down. But I’m progressing really fast. And I feel good."
KC Johnson: LaVine: "This isn’t a losing situation. We might not have the best record right now. But we don’t have that outlook on our team. We’re positive. We go at each other. We’re looking to improve. I know I’m not a loser. They’re not losers. We’re in the right state of mind."
KC Johnson: Lavine had full G League practice. Hoiberg: "I think he’ll help everybody on the floor. There’s going to have to be so much attention drawn to him with his ability to get on the break and create his own shot when teams switch. He and Lauri on pick-and-roll actions will be great."
Darnell Mayberry: LaVine said he doesn't have a specific date in mind for when he'd like to play. "When I’m out here playing the way I should be in practice, I’ll be able to go out there and do what I need to do on the court." #Bulls #BullsNation
Darnell Mayberry: Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg didn't rule out Zach LaVine spending time in the G-League to regain his rhythm. "We haven’t really determined that yet," Hoiberg said. "I think a lot will depend on how things go in practice then we’ll make that decision." #Bulls #BullsNation
Vincent Goodwill: As expected, Bulls' Zach LaVine cleared for contact practice. Bulls out west for the week
Darnell Mayberry: Zach LaVine has been cleared for full-contact practice. Still no definite timetable for his return. But he says he feels great.

http://twitter.com/DarnellMayberry/status/932763476153442304
Mike McGraw: Hoiberg thinks Zach LaVine could be ready for full contact in about 3 weeks. #Bulls pic.twitter.com/OU884JNkRr
LaVine was working with Bulls staff members after Tuesday's first practice, but is not able to participate fully at this point. "He's doing a lot of things," Hoiberg said after Tuesday's first official practice of the year. "Basically on a 1-on-0 workout he has no restrictions. He's doing a lot of extra running. He's been a monster in the weight room, he's putting up a lot of weight, which shows the strength of that leg, is probably where it needs to be. “
Mike McGraw: Hoiberg on LaVine: "Basically, 1 on 0 he has no restrictions." Thinks doctors will wait full 9 months before cleared for contact. #Bulls
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.
Mike McGraw: Lavine says surgeon told him 9 months minimum. He tore ACL in early Feb. #Bulls
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.
"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."
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
Storyline: Zach LaVine Injury
More HoopsHype Rumors
January 27, 2022 | 3:33 am EST Update

NBA scout: Jazz a first-round exit away from Donovan Mitchell going to New York

The incessant buzz around the league is that there are those in Mitchell’s circle who believe he is too big of a star for Salt Lake City. Further, some say it’s only a matter of time before he joins former Creative Artists Agency agent and current New York Knicks president Leon Rose. “They’re a first-round exit from Donovan being in New York,” an Eastern Conference scout said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: James Harden has repeatedly told management, ownership, you know, those in the organization that he is committed to being a Net that he wants to win a championship there and, and more than that, the Big Three in Brooklyn, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving… What they say publicly, they also say privately, which is, when they’re together, they believe they’re unstoppable and that the Nets are going to get that group back.
Storyline: James Harden Trade?
Harden can opt out of the 2022-23 season to become a free agent and sign elsewhere or the Nets could agree to a sign-and-trade deal in which Harden opts into the final year of his contract with plans to sign a long-term deal with his new team in 2023. ESPN’s front-office insider Bobby Marks projects only the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs to have cap space this offseason.

Aron Baynes not playing this season

As much as NBL teams would love to have Baynes clogging up the key, Hoops Heaven reached out to the Baynes camp and was told he is still hard at work building up his body and won’t be playing for anyone this season. Baynes has all his focus on playing in the NBA next season and isn’t considering the NBL. NBA teams would love to have a rim defender and rebounder of Baynes’ quality next season; let’s hope he can regain the match fitness and strength to make this a reality.