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Bulls’ Zach LaVine undergoes left knee surgery after painful season

Will he stay or will he go? As speculation continues, his recent operation adds a new layer to be added to mix.

Paul Rudder
Bulls’ Zach LaVine undergoes left knee surgery after painful season
Chicago TribuneGetty

With free agency pending, its been a complicated moment for the Bulls’ main man and now having had an operation the question is, ‘will it affect his decision about the future?’

Zach LaVine undergoes knee surgery

According to a team announcement on Tuesday, Chicago Bulls star guard Zach LaVine underwent arthroscopic left knee surgery. LaVine who actually missed time this season due an injury of the same knee, spent the latter parts of the season battling through pain to play. Indeed, he was forced to miss several games and would finally be absent for the Bulls’ post season ending loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, but it was actually the result of entering the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

Until injury LaVine had enjoyed a decent season which in fact was his second consecutive All-Star campaign. The recent narrative, however, became dominated by the fact that he is due to enter unrestricted free agency this summer Adding further fuel to the fire has been LaVine’s openness about his desire to explore the market. There have also been his frank comments regarding his disappointment about not being paid more on his last deal. With these two factors considered, many have been watching LaVine’s story with a great deal of interest, as he is undoubtedly one of the bigger names that will be on the market this off-season. Regardless of the fact that he just had a major operation, one can expect that there will be no shortage destinations for the young star, such that getting the max deal he so wants shouldn’t be a problem at all.

Will Zach LaVine’s knee affect his decision?

Over the past few years LaVine has proven himself to be consistent if not stellar, but the reality is his left knee will more than likely be an issue with which he has to contend for the rest of his career. Having torn his ACL back in 2017, his untimely operation is likely the result of prolonged wear and tear on a joint that was already damaged. While he has lost no pep in his step and is still the athletic player he’s always been, what is now all but certain is there will always be an increased risk of re-injury.

With all that said, LaVine still managed to play in some 67 games last season and has actually never been absent for any more than 19 games in any of his past four seasons in Chicago. It should be said that by all accounts LaVine is expected to make a full recovery from his recent operation. Of course as mentioned before the real question will be whether or not this is part of his decision making process when his free agency begins. Here is what’s certain: If he stays in Chicago he will make more money, an estimated $212 million over five years to be exact. If he leaves it will likely be around $157 million that he’d receive for four years from another franchise. For the moment we have no comment from the man himself so we can only speculate, but expect this story to have another twist in it before long.