2. Zach LaVine‘s breakthrough
Through and through, the Chicago Bulls team MVP so far this season is the 24-year-old shooting guard Zach LaVine. Give one more major season of improvement for LaVine in the Windy City and he should finally get that All-Star selection that he could’ve deserved in 2020 when it was hosted at the United Center.
While the Bulls had to be hoping that the likes of power forward Lauri Markkanen, center Wendell Carter Jr., and/or small forward Otto Porter Jr. would rise to the occasion this season, LaVine was the only player close to being an All-Star selection. LaVine and White are beginning to look like the future of this Bulls rebuild.
So far this season, LaVine is averaging 25.5 points per game, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists, while shooting 45.0 percent from the field and 38.0 percent from beyond the arc. He’s got 4.0 win shares and a box plus/minus rating of 2.5. LaVine is also registering a value over replacement player rating of 2.4, which is a team-high.
LaVine is showing breakthroughs on both ends of the floor. That includes career bests in defensive rating, defensive box plus/minus rating, and defensive win shares. And LaVine ranks ninth among NBA point guards this season in ESPN’s real plus/minus rating (2.10).
There’s plenty of proof that LaVine is having a true breakthrough and could be on a path to stardom once he returns from the quad injury he’s currently dealing with.