San Antonio Spurs News

3 Teams Whose Playoff Collapses Could Help the Spurs

Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell / Tim Heitman/GettyImages
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San Antonio Spurs
Gregg Popovich, Zach LaVine / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

2. The Chicago Bulls

Like the Jazz, the Chicago Bulls also enjoyed a wealth of early success this season only to struggle from game number 60 and beyond. DeMar DeRozan and company went just 7-15 since February 26th and fell from 1st in the Eastern Conference all the way to 6th.

While it would be nice to see DeRozan thrive in the playoffs after what he did for the Spurs, there's a flip side for the unsentimental fan. You see, Zach LaVine is an unrestricted free agent this summer, and San Antonio is one of the few teams that can pay him handsomely. On top of that, there are several ties LaVine has to the organization already.

LaVine played for Coach Popovich on the all-important Team USA that won Olympic gold and further cemented the legendary coach's resume.

"He was so important to what we did just because of his special skills," said Popovich in January. "The thing I remember most about him, and I can almost quote him, is he would say, 'Pop, just tell me what you want me to do and I'll go do it.' He must've told me that 10 times while we were there. And he would follow through on it."

"LaVine has talked glowingly about his experience with USA Basketball. His respect for Popovich runs deep," said Bulls Insider K.C. Johnson in the same article.

Beyond that, LaVine and Dejounte Murray have an extremely close relationship after growing up within an hour of each other in Washington. They always hype each other up on Twitter, with LaVine often campaigning for Murray to make his first NBA All-Star Game, which ultimately happened.

Obviously, prying away a high-end talent like LaVine would be a huge win for San Antonio. He's made every indication that he's happy in Chicago, but it certainly wouldn't hurt the Spurs' chances if the Bulls collapse in the playoffs. Considering they have to face the Milwaukee Bucks in round one, the odds are high that will happen.

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