1 Regular Season goal for each Chicago Bulls core player

Coby White, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Coby White, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

1) Goal for each Chicago Bulls core player

Zach LaVine: Be an All-Star

One of the big stories around Bulls Nation last season was the snubbing of Zach LaVine for the All-Star Game. For reference, only nine times in NBA history has a guard averaged better than 25 points, four assists, and four rebounds per game and not been named an All-Star.

Three of those occurrences happened last year and one of them was Kyrie Irving who only appeared in 20 games.

Basically, it’s pretty rare. Especially being in the East, the much weaker of the two conferences.

So, the “simple” goal for LaVine is to be an All-Star.

LaVine finished fifth in fan voting, tied for seventh in player voting, and tied for sixth in media votes. The fans were his best choice to make it but even then it would have been in one of the final spots. Only four spots were dedicated to guards and there were five front court players that would have edged him out absent a coach’s selection or commissioner intervention.

Zach finished 14th in scoring in the preseason, averaging 19.8 points. Remember though, we aren’t concerned with the point total. What’s more of interest to us here is that he shot 55.8 percent from the floor and 45.5 percent from deep.

This isn’t the first time LaVine has been impressive in the preseason. Last year he had even better numbers; posting a 23.3/4.3/3.0 line and slashing .593/.560/.833 in the exhibition period.

All of those numbers fell in the regular season.

This was somewhat expected but the hope was that some of that efficiency would carry over. LaVine is a career 44.8 percent shooter (37.5 percent from deep) which isn’t bad by any stretch.

In fact, only the 13 players averaged at least 25 points, four assists, and four rebounds in the NBA last season. LaVine finished above Trae Young, who was named an All-Star, in both field goal and three-point percentage. He also finished fourth among the 13 players in three-point percentage and set a Bulls record for threes in a season.

But Young averaged 4.1 points per game more thanks in part to taking more threes, but also due to his efficiency from the free-throw line, where he’s getting 9.3 attempts per game compared to 5.6 for Zach.

That’s not good enough for a player whose game relies so heavily on drives to the rim that result in lots of contact.

All of this is to say improved shot selection will lead to better efficiency from the floor. He had a better true shooting percentage than only Russell Westbrook. But it has to be combined with being a better facilitator. Of those 13 aforementioned players, LaVine is last in assists per game.

He’s not a point guard, but if the Devin Bookers and Bradley Beals of the world can average better than six dishes per outing, Zach can put up better assist numbers. He averaged fewer than Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Karl-Anthony Towns last season. That’s a wing and basically two bigs. Not good.

Of course, that last bit requires teammates hitting shots.