The NBA Draft Combine is a place for young players to chase their dreams.
It’s also, along with NBA Summer League, the premier destination for league gossip, with executives from all 30 teams, coaches and agents gathering in the same location.
A prominent topic of conversation this week has been Zach LaVine’s future. Opinion — some of it educated, some of it guesswork — is varied on what the Chicago Bulls’ two-time All-Star guard will do when he hits unrestricted free agency on July 1.
But this much is certain: His return to the Bulls no longer is considered the slam dunk it once was.
Whether that stems from LaVine’s own exit interview with local reporters in late April or a genuine belief he will leave the franchise that still can pay him the most is unknown. What’s certain is that league gossip throughout this week has linked LaVine to at least four teams — Lakers, Trail Blazers, Mavericks, Hawks — with almost certainly more to follow.
LaVine, who is expected to have his arthroscopic knee surgery early next week, made it clear in his final media session that he will take his time to make his decision. The Bulls are fully expecting LaVine to take visits, be wined and dined and explore the unrestricted free agency he has earned.
Both Bulls president/chief operating officer Michael Reinsdorf and executive vice president Artūras Karnišovas have publicly stated their desire for LaVine…