Report: Bulls’ LaVine goes to Los Angeles to see knee specialist

Toronto Raptors v Chicago Bulls
Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

Zach LaVine has been in and out of the Bulls’ lineup since Jan. 15 due to pain in his left knee (the one where he tore his ACL back in 2017). An MRI showed no structural damage, but the pain hasn’t gone away.

Now LaVine is on a flight to Los Angeles to visit a specialist for a second opinion on his knee, a story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and confirmed by K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

LaVine sat out Saturday’s Bulls win over the Thunder, the second night of a back-to-back, and coach Billy Donovan was asked about it.

“He’s obviously dealing with knee soreness. We want to manage that as best we can,” coach Billy Donovan said before Saturday’s game. “We had basically talked about trying to limit his back-to-back opportunities to kind of give his knee a chance to rest. But we’re probably going to end up going day-to-day with him just to see how he’s feeling. We’re gonna certainly be cautious with him and see how he responds to treatment.”

LaVine, an All-Star, is averaging 24.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists a game this season. He is also scheduled to compete in the 3-Point Contest.

LaVine is an unrestricted free agent this offseason because the Bulls prioritized building a roster around him this season, using the cap space to sign DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso. It worked, the Bulls are 36-21 and second in the Eastern Conference. It is expected LaVine will re-sign with the Bulls on a five-year, $209 million contract (if he makes an All-NBA team that can go up to a $244 million contract).