Skip to main content

Wolves have to a make a major decision on Zach LaVine this year

Zach LaVine's ACL injury complicates a decision the Wolves have to make later this year.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

With Zach LaVine out for the season with a torn ACL and unlikely to resume basketball activities for an estimated nine months, the Timberwolves will enter 2017-18 with big questions about their 21-year-old shooting guard.

  1. Will he return with his pre-injury explosiveness?
  2. Will the Wolves extend his rookie contract or let him get to restricted free agency?

An answer to the first question won't come by anything other than projections until he actually proves he's back on the court. But in nine months it'll be October, meaning LaVine won't be back until at least right before the beginning of the season.

It's during the final stages of LaVine's recovery, July 31-Oct. 31, that Minnesota is allowed to offer extensions on Andrew Wiggins' and LaVine's rookie contracts. Zach Harper of Fan Rag Sports explains:

Wiggins and LaVine have the same agent — Bill Duffy. He’s the same agent who got four years and $70 million for Klay Thompson. That was right before the ceiling of the Golden State Warriors 2-guard became so high. The salary cap will be $30 million higher from when Thompson was getting an extension. Will Duffy push for something in the $90 million range? Do the Wolves blink and give it to him possibly a month before LaVine even returns to the court?

Talk about a tough call to make.

If LaVine doesn't sign an extension in the fall he'll likely get to restricted free agency in 2018-19, where other teams can offer him more than what the Wolves might be able to match.

That leaves Tom Thibodeau with two choices: Pay LaVine this fall and hope he returns to form, or wait and risk losing him before he turns 23.

Early indications point to Thibodeau believing LaVine will be fine.

“His overall game had blossomed,” Thibodeau said after LaVine got hurt last week, via the Star Tribune. “He’s shooting the three great, the free throws, the drives. All of it. He’ll get through it. He’s a mentally tough kid. He’s already talking about what’s next.”

Next Up

ambulance

2 motorcyclists killed in crash near Duluth

The crash happened at a curve in the road north of Duluth.

Life Link

18 injured in two separate crashes involving teen drivers

The crashes happened Thursday in Ham Lake and North Branch Township.

ambulance

Motorcyclist killed on I-494 crash in Richfield

The Minnesota State Patrol has identified the victim as a 42-year-old Shakopee man.

013_kitchen

Gallery: This Seward Neighborhood gem SOLD fast!

Classic 1903 home came with modern updates

hopkins high school

‘Terrible prank’ during tornado drill causes scare at Hopkins High School

The school principal said the incident brought armed police to the school and "understandably caused some scholars anxiety."

MNBCA - Balsimo 1

Woman admits to role in St. Paul man's gruesome murder

A 32-year-old Duluth woman has taken a plea deal in the case of a 34-year-old St. Paul man's murder.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 11.18.35 AM

'Living nightmare’ alleged at Savage, Minn. rabbit sanctuary

"Peacebunny Cottage" is now the subject of an animal cruelty investigation.

ambulance

Tractor tips on embankment, killing man in Kandiyohi County

The tractor reportedly tipped and fell on top of the man, pinning him underneath.

Sloane Martin

Sloane Martin teams with Mike Golic Jr. for college football broadcasts

Martin, 33, lives in Minnesota and continues to climb the sports broadcasting ladder.

Related

Wolves have to a make a major decision on Zach LaVine this year

Zach LaVine's ACL injury complicates a decision the Wolves have to make later this year.

The Wolves have been terrible, but Zach LaVine has been on fire

Remember when Zach LaVine was nearly traded before the season?

The Wolves have been terrible, but Zach LaVine has been on fire

Remember when Zach LaVine was nearly traded before the season?

Wiggins, LaVine have Wolves leading the NBA in 3-point shooting

The Wolves are on fire from three and leading the way are Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine.

Wiggins, LaVine have Wolves leading the NBA in 3-point shooting

The Wolves are on fire from three and leading the way are Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine.

The post-LaVine versions of Wiggins and Towns have been incredible

Andrew Wiggins has increased his scoring by nearly 40 percent since Zach LaVine's injury.

The post-LaVine versions of Wiggins and Towns have been incredible

Andrew Wiggins has increased his scoring by nearly 40 percent since Zach LaVine's injury.

ESPN's Zach Lowe: 'Wolves have transformed into a two-way terror'

The Wolves are fading in the playoff picture but Zach Lowe is still raving about them.