Fans that want to see Zach LaVine with the San Antonio Spurs were dealt a body blow on Tuesday morning with a Bleacher Report column all but shutting down him leaving Chicago. In the process, writer Jake Fischer seemed to add in his own sucker punch as well.
Citing he expects LaVine to re-sign with Chicago Bulls when free agency negotiations begin, Fischer goes on to say that the Spurs were the only team in the mix that could offer a role as the team's primary playmaker while being able to afford him. Appearing to add in his own assessment, he then states that "the Spurs are considered far off from the postseason environment LaVine prefers".
I say this is probably Fischer's own commentary because I just can't see Zach LaVine saying anything like that himself. For one, he's close friends with fellow Washington native Dejounte Murray and developed a nice rapport with Gregg Popovich on Team USA last summer.
Secondly, this season was the first time he's made it to the playoffs in eight seasons. I'm not sure that puts him in a place to judge the shortcomings of another team in a rebuild that had exactly one fewer playoff win than his Bulls did this year. To say the Spurs are "far off" from a postseason environment in which his current team won a single extra game would just be ridiculous.
Spurs fans take exception to the cheap shot
When I shared the news on Twitter Tuesday morning, many fans understandably took exception to the notion that their group is "far off" from what LaVine desires.
I'm not going to sit here and say the Spurs have a brighter immediate future than Chicago does as they stand. After all, injuries played a huge part in the Bulls' demise after a hot start to this season. But it definitely strikes me as strange to label this young group as far off from what LaVine wants playoff-wise when you consider how this season turned out for both sides.
I mean, Chicago just snapped a four-year playoff drought to finally give LaVine his first shot at bonus basketball.
Adding another All-Star in LaVine to a core of Murray, Keldon Johnson, and Devin Vassell plus whoever the Spurs acquire this summer doesn't seem like a full tier away from what the Bulls currently have.
While the cheap shot might've landed, the concept behind the punch was far off from reality.