CHICAGO – The Bulls will be without one of their All-Star guards for their first game of the 2022-2023 season on Wednesday night against the Heat.
Zach LaVine will be out for the contest at FTX Arena in Miami due to left knee injury management, the team announced ahead of the game.
It’s still unknown if LaVine will be ready for the team’s second game of the season Friday against the Wizards in Washington D.C. The Bulls will open their home schedule against the Cavaliers at the United Center on Saturday evening.
LaVine took the floor for three of the Bulls’ four preseason games but didn’t take part in the last one against the Bucks on October 11th at the United Center. The guard played 17 minutes against the Pelicans on October 4th and then 24 minutes in games against the Nuggets on October 7th then the Raptors on October 9th.
This comes after LaVine signed a new max contract worth $215 million over five years after being selected to back-to-back NBA All-Star Games. In 67 games last season, Lavine averaged 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per contest despite dealing with left knee pain for the majority of the second half of the season.
Acquired in a draft night trade in 2017, LaVine has become arguably the face of this era of the franchise over the last five years. In 272 regular season games, the guard has averaged 24.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per contest.
Last season, he helped the Bulls to their first playoff appearance in five years as they finished with a 45-37 record.