Chicago Bulls: LaVine hoping for a turnaround under Billy Donovan

Billy Donovan Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Billy Donovan Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Maybe the Chicago Bulls best player, shooting guard Zach LaVine, and new head coach Billy Donovan will hopefully be a dream pairing in the Windy City.

With another year of Training Camp brings another year of some level of rejuvenated excitement in this Chicago Bulls rebuild heading into its fourth year. But this year feels like there is a bit more reason for optimism in the Bulls camp given all of the positive changes that management made within the organization during the offseason.

Two of the most important figures within the Bulls organization this coming season, to improve this rebuild heading into its fourth year, are newly hired head coach Billy Donovan and standout shooting guard Zach LaVine. This head coach-star guard pairing could be what helps this Bulls team make a big leap in the Eastern Conference standings during the 2020-21 season.

There is surely lots of room for improvement during the 2020-21 campaign for the Bulls. Under the direction of former head coach Jim Boylen, the Bulls rounded out last season with a record of 22-43, good for 11th place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Finding some stability between the coaching staff and the roster at hand is going to be key for the Bulls this coming season. According to a report from K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago on Dec. 7, it appears that these two are hopeful for a turnaround with the Bulls rebuild during the 2020-21 season.

This will be LaVine’s sixth different head coach of his NBA career, and third with the Bulls alone, as mentioned in the NBC Sports Chicago report. It’s clear to see why both LaVine and Donovan are hoping to change the narrative of the coach-player relationships formed in his career so far.

Here’s more on this matter mentioned in this report from Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

"Under Billy Donovan, LaVine is set to play for his sixth coach. It’s clear in talking to LaVine that he’s excited about the possibilities of the partnership.“He’s been great, very vocal, very straight up,” LaVine said. “Bringing a winning attitude, talking to us about winning habits and making sure the practices are competitive.”"

There seems to be a lot of optimism in general coming out of Bulls Training Camp, as group workouts got up and running earlier in the week at the Advocate Center. Key cornerstones of the young core like LaVine, point guard Coby White, power forward Lauri Markkanen, etc. will be key to this team taking that elusive next step during the 2020-21 season.

LaVine is coming off a career year last season, where he nearly got his first ever All-Star nod. He played in 60 games during the shortened 2019-20 regular season with the Bulls (all of which he started in). And LaVine averaged 25.5 points per game, 4.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.5 blocks. He shot 45.0 percent from the field, 38.0 percent from beyond the arc, and 80.2 percent from the free-throw line.

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The four-game preseason slate begins for LaVine, Donovan, and the Bulls at home at the United Center on Dec. 11 against the Houston Rockets. They get two games at home against the Rockets, then hit the road for two against the Thunder on Dec. 17 and 19. And then the regular season schedule tips off on Dec. 23 at home against the Atlanta Hawks.