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Zach LaVine is apparently going to be recovering from surgery as he enters free agency this summer.
The Chicago Bulls guard, who has been dealing with a left knee injury for months, will need surgery “almost immediately” this offseason, according to the Chicago Sun Times’ Joe Cowley.
LaVine has been dealing with left knee pain since December, and his knee is now “more like 50%, and that’s on a good day,” a source told Cowley.
LaVine was already ruled out of the Bulls’ Game 5 matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday due to the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Coach Billy Donovan said he is experiencing symptoms and is “pretty sick.”
LaVine averaged 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game this season, his fifth with the Bulls. The 27-year-old has put up 19.3 points and six assists per game in their series against the Bucks.
The Bulls trail Milwaukee 3-1 heading into Wednesday’s game. LaVine’s season, barring a comeback from the Bulls that gets them into the next round, is likely now over.
LaVine will be an unrestricted free agent this summer after his four-year, $78 million deal ends. It’s safe to assume the Bulls will try to keep him around, but he will undoubtedly have options available if he wants to look elsewhere.
It’s unclear how long LaVine will be sidelined recovering this summer after his surgery. If it’s minor, he could easily be back and ready to go for the start of the season — wherever he ends up, Chicago or elsewhere. If it’s a bigger surgery, however, LaVine may need more time.