Bulls All-Star shooting guard Zach LaVine is not worried about how he will mesh alongside new starting small forward DeMar DeRozan, per Sean Deveney of Heavy.com. Both players to this point have been primary scorers for their respective clubs.
“I don’t get that at all, because that’s just outside narratives,” LaVine said of the on-court collaboration with his pricey new Bulls teammate. “It’s our job to get out there and get to know each other, obviously personally and as a basketball player. It’s easy to make things work on the basketball court if you all have the same intent, and that’s winning.”
There’s more out of the Central Division:
- After recently tearing his left Achilles tendon during an offseason workout, 25-year-old Pacers guard Edmond Sumner underwent a successful surgery to repair the ligament, per a team press release. Drafted with the No. 52 pick out of Xavier by Indiana in 2017, Sumner has developed into a helpful reserve in his first four NBA seasons thus far. In 53 games played during the 2019/20 season, Sumner averaged 7.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG, and 0.9 APG across 16.2 MPG. He posted a shooting line of .525/.398/.819.
- The Pistons could stand to benefit from adding a third center with their available guaranteed roster spot, writes Rod Beard of the Detroit Free Press. The club signed Kelly Olynyk in free agency this summer, and are hopeful that second-year big man Isaiah Stewart, an All-Rookie Second Teamer, can continue to develop. Beard notes that it makes sense for Detroit to keep its 15th roster spot open through training camp, in case another veteran center becomes available elsewhere in the NBA.
- Bucks shooting guards Donte DiVincenzo and Grayson Allen, both set to be restricted free agents in 2022, could net contract extensions by October 18 this season. Eric Nehm of The Athletic posits that, judging by the contracts meted out to similar-caliber players during the 2021 offseason, DiVincenzo could earn a multiyear contract worth $50MM or more, though Nehm wonders if the Bucks will be cautious to extend him before seeing how he plays on the hardwood. DiVincenzo injured a tendon in his left foot suffered during the 2021 playoffs. Nehm views the newly-added Allen as something of a contingency plan for DiVincenzo.