Tell us how you really feel Joe Cowley.
The Chicago Sun-Times Chicago Bulls‘ beat writer took to Twitter on Saturday to unload his take on Zach LaVine and what Cowley sees as his unfitness for the No. 1 spot on a contending team.
Cowley didn’t hold back in this series of tweets:
Cowley punctuated his rant with a trade concept that would send LaVine elsewhere for “a lottery pick and an expiring contract.”
Is Cowley wrong about LaVine, White, and any of the points he offered?
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Zach LaVine May Not Be a No. 1 Option on a Championship Team
As harsh as Cowley’s assessment may have sounded, he might be right about LaVine.
Few players in the league are as physically talented as LaVine. His first step is out of this world. His skill in finishing at the rim whether it be with a slam or a well-placed layup at the basket is also great.
LaVine has also made himself into more than a capable three-point shooter. He’s pretty adept at draining shots off the dribble and off catch-and-shoot opportunities. You don’t average 23.7 points per game, shoot 45% from the field and just under 37% from the three-point line over the past 2-plus seasons without these skills.
The issue with LaVine is his decision making. He is still prone to taking ill-advised shots at the most inopportune times, and in his 7th NBA season, he is still falling down the hero-ball black hole. At times, it looks as if he and White are actually competing against each other.
It’s easy to say, LaVine is 25 years old, he’s still getting better.
However, he’s been around for long enough to start to curtail some of these bad habits. To his credit, I’ve seen some strides under Billy Donovan, which is why I can’t say I’m exactly where Cowley is with this assessment, but I’ve also watched enough of LaVine over the past 3-plus years in Chicago to know that the brazen Bulls writer isn’t completely offbase.
The Trade Package is Too Small
Where I completely disagree with Cowley is on the proposed trade package to ship LaVine elsewhere. A lottery pick and an expiring contract for a 25-year-old who is averaging 26 points per game while commandeering responsibilities at both guard spots is just the beginning of the conversation, in my eyes.
The Bulls shouldn’t be settling for anything less than a young, promising player along with the lottery pick and the expiring–which is only there to make the trade work from a financial standpoint. A deal that includes a young talent on par with Michael Porter Jr., a lottery pick (which the Denver Nuggets won’t have), and an expiring contract is the kind of deal the Bulls should look into, but not without the MPJ-like presence in the offer.
If Coby White is Your Starting 2-Guard, You Need an Elite PG
I also find some fault in the thought that White is ready to be a starting shooting guard for a title contender. I’m liking the idea of him as a 6th man more and more with each passing game. He’s a horrible defender, and his ballhandling skill is exclusive to situations designed to get off his own shots.
Defensively, he is super tentative in help situations and often out of position. He is just 20 years old, but assuming he’ll ultimately fix those errors might be foolish.
His ability to get buckets in bunches is certainly valuable, but on a great team, a more complete player starts ahead of him.
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