The Timberwolves activated their third-year team option on LaVine's rookie scale deal on October 21, 2015, extending the contract through the 2016-17 season. When Ricky Rubio was injured in early November, LaVine took over as the starting point guard and took advantage of the extra playing time. He had several impressive performances including a game-winning three-pointer at home against the Denver Nuggets and a 26 point effort at San Antonio.
LaVine was the ninth pick in the 2014 NBA draft and the first player from the University of Illinois. He played only 27 games before he was injured but when he returned for the final six contests of the season, he showed that he is capable of leading the Timberwolves to the playoffs. Minnesota finished with 42 wins because of its excellent defense but they also allowed 106.4 points per game which is the most it has given up since 1996-97. The team will look to trade Jimmy Butler because his contract is too big for them to keep but they might be able to get a good return for him.
Zach LaVine will be a key piece for the Timberwolves this upcoming season and we can expect to see him improve even more after recovering from his knee injury. He is a dynamic scorer who can handle the ball and make plays for others so he is a perfect fit for Tom Thibodeau's system.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have signed rookie center Naz Reid to a multiyear contract, upping the two-way deal he was given before to the team's participation in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
The expansion Timberwolves set an NBA record by drawing over 1 million people to their home games at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. This includes a 49,551-person attendance on April 17, 1990, when the Timberwolves lost 99-88 to the Denver Nuggets in their final home game of the season.
The Wolves gained another talent in the draft in 1996, when they traded Ray Allen to the Milwaukee Bucks for the rights to Stephon Marbury, the fourth overall choice. Marbury's acquisition benefited the whole squad, as Garnett and Gugliotta became the first Wolves to be named to the All-Star team.
Rivals.com rated LaVine as a four-star recruit and ranked him as the No. 12 shooting guard and No. 44 player in the country in 2013. LaVine verbally committed to UCLA and coach Ben Howland for the 2013 season on June 20, 2012. He was given a redshirt season by the NCAA.
As a freshman at UCLA in 2014-15, LaVine started 33 of 34 games played and averaged 16.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. He set a new school record with 114 three-pointers made and was named to the All-Pac-12 first team. After one season at UCLA, he entered the 2015 NBA Draft where he was selected ninth overall by the Chicago Bulls.
LaVine returned to UCLA for his sophomore season in 2015-16 and was expected to be a major contributor for the Bruins this year after averaging 16.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists last season. However, he suffered a knee injury during practice on October 28, 2016 that required surgery to repair a torn meniscus. He is expected to be fully recovered in time for the start of training camp next month.
During his freshman season at UCLA, LaVine met his future wife, Camille, at a basketball game when she attended her first UCLA game with her father.
The New York Knicks are reportedly one of the clubs after LaVine right now. LaVine and Markkanen are most likely the two best players on the Bulls' team right now. The Knicks need some help at point guard after Jameer Nelson was dealt to the Magic.
If the Bulls were to trade Zach LaVine, his contract would be an issue that needs to be resolved before a deal can be made. He has a partial guarantee next season so he could be bought out if there is no mutual interest in keeping him around.
There have been rumors about Zach LaVine being traded for several months now, but nothing has come of it until now. It seems like the Knicks are interested in trading for him and are among the front-runners for his services. If they do end up signing him, then he would be expected to play shooting guard since Robin Lopez is slated to become an unrestricted free agent.
Zach LaVine is coming off of back-to-back 30-plus point performances against top-10 defenses in the NBA. He is only 22 years old so there is plenty of room for growth. If you want a better understanding of how good he can be take a look at last year when he averaged 23.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game.