Zach LaVine has never been one to worry about front office business. He does his job as a player. They do their job as executives.
It should come as no surprise, then, that he spent a crazy trade deadline day in the NBA preparing for the Chicago Bulls’ next game.
“I got a massage the whole game,” LaVine said with a smile after the team’s morning shootout ahead of a home game against the Timberwolves on Friday. “I was focused on getting my body right, getting ready for the next game. That is just about everything. Someone calls my phone, they call my phone.
While Artūras Karnišovas, Marc Eversley and their staff keep LaVine informed of their trades, no notification has been received on LaVine’s file similar to last season’s blockbuster trade for Nikola Vučević, which was consummated. the morning of the deadline day.
No, the Bulls have weathered this year, confident enough in their early-season comebacks — and second-place finish in the East — to ride out the storm until the returns of Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Patrick Williams and Derrick Jones Jr.
LaVine has no problem with this approach.
“It’s the same thing we have (as players),” LaVine said when asked if he viewed the Bulls’ inactivity as a vote of confidence in the current squad. “They (the front office) are going to do their job no matter what. They’re going to go out there and try to improve the team in every way they can, you can’t get mad at that.
“It’s our job to come here with the guys that we have, and when we were healthy we showed that we were still on top and one of the best teams in the NBA. I think that’s up to this is where we hang our hats. When we are healthy, we will resume what we do.
Still, it’s hard not to notice that several teams in the Bulls area code have made significant improvements. The Nets and 76ers have traded James Harden and Ben Simmons in a move that has great potential for both sides. The Bucks brought in Serge Ibaka. The Cavaliers added Caris LeVert. Even a few rungs down on the latter, teams like Boston (Derrick White), Toronto (Thad Young) and Charlotte (Montrezl Harrell) have beefed up their rotations for the stretch run.
That makes seeding all the more important for a Bulls team entering a six-game homestand 1.5 games from first in the conference but 2.5 from sixth.
“They did what they thought was best for their teams. You have to respect it,” LaVine said. “But everyone has to play each other, so we’ll see what it’s going to be like.”
At that time, there was no lack of confidence within the walls of the Bulls.
“When we’re healthy and doing what we’re supposed to do, I don’t see anyone better than us in the East. That’s just my opinion,” LaVine said. , you get on the line, you throw the ball, I don’t think anyone is better than us.”
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