Team USA opens training camp Monday for this summer’s World Cup in Asia, should Zach LaVine be on the roster?
It turns out that NBA players really have little interest in playing for Team USA this summer. Julius Randle, Landry Shamet and Montrezl Harrell are just the latest to drop out. We’re still waiting for Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine‘s to get his invite. It’s not so much that we should want LaVine to be on Team USA’s roster.
If we’re being truthful, we probably don’t, since the Bulls have been snakebitten by injuries for so long. With Team USA’s about to begin training camp on Monday, LaVine’s invitation might not come.
With that said, it’s a bit strange that LaVine hasn’t been invited. I mean, Mason Plumlee is a nice player, but he isn’t on LaVine’s level, or anywhere close to it. LaVine’s new teammate, Thaddeus Young received an invitation, so it could be nice for the two to develop some sort of chemistry before the Bulls kick off their training camp.
— Bobby BP Portis (@BPortistime) August 3, 2019
LaVine deserves the opportunity, especially after the career-year he just had. In his second season in the Windy City, LaVine averaged 23.7 points per game, shot 46.7 percent from the field, snagged 4.7 rebounds and dished 4.5 assists per game. If his level of play continues to rise, a big payday could await him.
No offense to Plumlee, but his 7.8 points and 6.4 rebounds for the Denver Nuggets hardly seems deserving by comparison.
LaVine would benefit from being around talented peers
Probably the best part about being on Team USA’s roster would be the opportunity Zach LaVine would have to develop deeper relationships with some of the better players in the league. Maybe Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Stephen Curry aren’t on the roster, but there’s still great talent on display.
There could be plenty to gain for LaVine by traveling with Donovan Mitchell, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, to name a few. As recent NBA history has shown us, these relationships could pay dividends down the road for the Chicago Bulls.
Of course money talks, it always has, but in today’s NBA, relationships that have had years of grooming speaks volumes. Team USA brought together LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with the Miami Heat and most recently the Durant-Kyrie Iriving union. There’s nothing quite like bonding with teammates while experiencing worldwide travel and competition.
Of course there’s a downside. For Zach LaVine, his participation in actual sanctioned basketball games this summer would add more wear and tear on a body that has already endured a major ACL injury. He’s one of the league’s hardest workers so he’s back to being the uber-athletic player he’s always been, so why risk it? Let’s face it, it’s not like these games truly matter, right? One could argue that he’s come too far to be injured in a
This man is different.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) May 29, 2019
With the way the Bulls have struggled to stay healthy in recent years, the front office should be breathing a sigh of relief that their star guard’s number hasn’t been called, yet.