The Chicago Bulls haven’t had a reliable every-night point guard since Lonzo Ball went down 35 games into his tenure with the team two years ago. Coby White, Ayo Dosunmu, and now Jevon Carter have done a decent job filling in, but it’s clear that there’s still something missing at the position.
Zach LaVine is a shooting guard, and he’s more of a wing than a traditional guard. However, the All-Star is a very ball-dominant player at times, even though he’s just as comfortable and effective playing off the ball. If Chicago rolled with him at the one, they could explore lineup decisions elsewhere.
During a recent “Ask Sam Mailbag,” Sam Smith of NBA.com spoke about the idea of LaVine at the one.
“I know someone will say, “Well he had 51 without an assist.” But it’s something I might want to look at, too,” Smith wrote. “There’s something about putting your best five players on the court, and maybe if Patrick Williams gets some time at small forward with DeRozan at shooting guard it changes the dynamic. Zach has played point guard before both in college and with Minnesota when he began. It’s been a while and perhaps after all this time too much of an adjustment for everyone. But no one pushes the ball and can get into the paint like Billy Donovan has suggested for this Bulls team. And most of the point guards of this era like Lillard are scorers first.”
Smith compared the idea to what the Phoenix Suns are doing with Devin Booker, noting that it’s at least “intriguing.”
“The Suns seem to be trying it with Booker. Can the Bulls find an athletic, rebounding power forward to complement Vučević and have that all-scoring backcourt?” Smith wrote. D”oes it make sense? Would it work? How do you change like that after all the training camp stuff? I doubt the Bulls do that, though it’s intriguing to picture.”
If LaVine develops a certain level of comfortability in the role, it could certainly be an option for Billy Donovan to consider.