Zach LaVine is the key piece in the Bulls' rebuilding plan, but there is no date set for his Chicago debut.
The two-time slam dunk contest champ tore the ACL in his left knee in a game last Feb. 3 when he played for Minnesota. His rehab seems to be going very well, but the Bulls don't have a timetable yet for his return. Vice president of basketball operations John Paxson did say it's a safe bet LaVine won't be on the floor for opening night of the regular season.
"I know at the minimum, the surgeon has been telling everybody it's nine months," LaVine said Monday at the Advocate Center. "I can't stand just sitting here, but that's the way it is. I think at the minimum it's nine months and then I can start doing more on a timetable from there. Every day I'm at the gym working so when I get back, I can hit the floor running."
LaVine has been doing basketball activities most of the summer and he claimed he's already gotten positive results when measuring his speed and amazing jumping ability.
"My three-quarter (court) sprint is faster than what it was. My first 10-meter sprint is faster," he said. "My standing vertical is higher. My one-step vertical is higher. It's been coming along really well. I was pretty surprised a couple times. As long as I can keep progressing at this rate, you know, I'm going to be back doing better than I was before."
Life without Wade:
Both sides painted a happy picture on Dwyane Wade's contract buyout, which was completed Sunday night. The Bulls released Wade on Monday and when he clears waivers, he'll be free to sign with the contending team of his choice.
Wade, who will receive nearly $40 million from the Bulls for one season of work, sent a tweet that playing in his hometown was a "dream fulfilled."
Vice president of basketball operations John Paxson seemed happy Wade's future will not be a distraction when practice begins Tuesday.
"I want to say Dwyane was very professional entirely through his time here," Paxson said. "We have nothing but good things to say about him -- professional, great player, can still play the game. We wish him well, and we're happy he's in a good place and will find a situation that's best for him."
The Bulls were asked several times about the national anthem controversy going on in the NFL. John Paxson said the team is waiting for players, coaches and management to come to consensus on how to handle things this season. … Coach Fred Hoiberg said veteran forward Quincy Pondexter, who hasn't played at all the past two seasons due to knee issues, is expected to be full speed at Tuesday's practice. The Bulls acquired Pondexter in a trade with New Orleans last month. Pondexter was a high school teammate of center Robin Lopez.