The Chicago Bulls are entering a rebuilding phase next season and have their eyes firmly set on developing the future of the franchise.
The Bulls decided to trade All-Star Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the number seven pick in the 2017 draft - which they used to select Finnish big man Lauri Markkanen.
Chicago also waived point guard Rajon Rondo and according to ESPN's Nick Friedell, they are also expected to reach a buyout agreement with veteran Dwyane Wade in the coming months.
That would arguably leave LaVine as the team's most talented player and potentially the face of the franchise in the years to come.
The Bulls front office opted to stick with head coach Fred Hoiberg who didn't see eye to eye with Butler, Rondo and Wade when it came to his style of play.
The organisation has shown its commitment to the coach and the brand of basketball he wants to employ and believe that it will be better suited with younger and more athletic players.
High flyer LaVine certainly fits that bill and he's looking forward to operating under Hoiberg's system.
“It’s good that we’re going to be able to implement coach Hoiberg’s system,” LaVine The Chicago Tribune. “Me being able to run, jump and shoot the ball. I can create for others. It will be good to get out in open space, use the ball, have the ball in my hand a little bit more than I did last year.”
The 22-year-old, however, will be coming off an ACL injury which ended his campaign with the Timberwolves in February.
Per ESPN, 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.
The shooting guard came into the league as an athletic beast, but there were doubts about his overall game.
To his credit, the UCLA product has improved different aspects of his game every summer and became a potent threat from beyond the arc last year.
LaVine averaged a career-high 18.9 points per game on 46 percent shooting from the field and 38.7 percent from three-point range.
In coach Hoiberg's preferred up-tempo system with an emphasis on floor spacing, the two-time Slam Dunk champion could thrive and become an even more dangerous threat from downtown.
The Washington native showed his scoring ability last season and if he can remain productive once he returns from injury, the Bulls may have another star on their hands.