|Full Name:||Zachary LaVine|
|Place of Birth:||Renton, Washington|
|Parents:||CJ LaVine, Paul LaVine|
Zachary LaVine, better known as Zach LaVine, was born on March 10, 1995. LaVine is an American professional basketball player for the Chicago Bulls. LaVine was born and raised in Washington, where we have seen a ton of flashy NBA guards produced, ala Jamal Crawford and Nate Robinson. LaVine was a product of two athletic parents.
His father, Paul LaVine, was a professional football player for the USFL and NFL, and his mother, CJ, played softball. The athletic genes along with his admiration for Michael Jordan’s Space Jam movie provided him the perfect stepping stones to turn into a ballplayer. After focusing his childhood on Michael Jordan’s famous movie, it was only fitting he ended up as a member of the Chicago Bulls.
Zach went on to play high school basketball at Bothell High School in Washington. The tall, lanky point guard was a star there, which led him to receive a full-ride scholarship to UCLA. After just one season with the Bruins, LaVine entered the 2014 NBA Draft.
He was selected #13th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves. LaVine played three seasons for the Timberwolves, where he became a two-time Slam Dunk Contest Champion. He became the fourth player to ever win back-to-back Slam Dunk contests. In his final year with the Timberwolves, LaVine tore his ACL.
He was able to bounce back the following year, but this time doting the vintage red of the Chicago Bulls. The Chicago Bulls picked him up during his unrestricted free agency, and they have allowed LaVine to take charge as their best player ever since.
Zach LaVine started his career by getting buckets in his hometown Bothell High School in Washington. LaVine ran the point guard position in high school and continued to do so in college.
This may have been because entering high school he was a small player, but by his junior year, LaVine grew to 6-3. At this size, he was already a force to be reckoned with as a high school point guard. With his increase in size, his ball-handling ability did not decrease, and he now began to add his dunk package to his game.
As a senior at Bothell High School, Lavine averaged a whopping 28.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. His assist total was low, but he was a pure bucket scorer in high school. Do not be mistaken, LaVine surely did have a passing ability. He was later named 2013 AP Washington player of the year, as well as Washington Mr. Basketball. Lavine’s high school career entitled him to be a 4-star recruit.
Coming into the college in the 2012 class, Zach LaVine was ranked 50th on ESPN’s Top 100. The 4-star recruit had offers from UCLA, Gonzaga, Louisville, Memphis, Washington, and Washington State. Deciding to leave his hometown, Zach took his talents to UCLA.
On June 20, 2012, LaVine chose to don the blue and yellow as he verbally committed to UCLA. His commitment was to coach Ben Howland, who ended up being fired just nine months later.
With the change in the coaching staff, LaVine did consider staying home in Washington but later decided to stick with UCLA and new coach Steve Alford. I am sure his father, Paul, had a lot to do with this as he was a very large Bruins fan his whole life.
LaVine started his UCLA career as the sixth man, playing behind starting point guard Kyle Anderson. LaVine only averaged 9.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game in his Freshman year. His lackluster season was mainly due to a huge six-game shooting slump where he shot 7 for 36 from the field.
Without a pretty stat line, LaVine still wowed the scouts with his freakish athleticism, and highlight-reel plays. His success was enough to earn him a spot on the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team.
Zach LaVine was drafted 13th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. LaVine’s career started out slow, as he only tallied 12 minutes total in his first five games.
His first breakout game was against the Los Angeles Lakers on November 28, where he dropped 28 points in a 120-119 win. This game made Zach the second teenager to ever have at least 25 points and five assists off the bench in the NBA.
The next highlight of his rookie year was the 2015 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. LaVine’s name was finally in the bright lights as he took home the Dunk Contest crown, and left the fans something to remember with his Space Jam inspired dunk. This made him the youngest Slam Dunk Champion since Kobe Bryant earned his crown at just 18 years of age. LaVine averaged 10.1 points, 3.6 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game that year. He earned his spot on the All-NBA Rookie Second Team.
The following year, Zach LaVine had his contract with the Timberwolves extended to through the 2016-17 season. LaVine earned a starting spot when Ricky Rubio was hurt again, further enhancing his opportunity to become a star in this league.
In the 2015-16 season, LaVine saw success with high scoring games to the tune of 26, 28, and 35 points. This was just a sign of things to come for the blooming star. LaVine capped off another great year with his second consecutive Slam Dunk Contest crown. He became the fourth player to ever win back-to-back Slam Dunk Contests.
In his 2016-17 season, the Timberwolves grabbed the fourth-year option on Zach’s rookie contract. He started out the season hot by dropping 37 points against the Orlando Magic on November 9. He followed that up with a 40 point barrage against the Sacramento Kings on December 23.
Unfortunately for LaVine, his breakout season was cut short when he tore his ACL on February 4th, 2017. He underwent successful surgery to repair his knee, but this would be the last game he played for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Chicago Bulls grabbed the blooming star in a blockbuster trade that involved sending Jimmy Butler and the 16th pick in the 2017 draft to Minnesota for Kris Dunn, the 7th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, and Zach LaVine.
In the long run, it appears the Chicago Bulls clearly won this trade as the Timberwolves no longer have Butler, and the Bulls parlayed Butler into LaVine, Dunn, and Lauri Markkanen.
By the time Lavine became a restricted free agent in 2017, the Bulls had no choice but to pay their future star. The restricted free agent matched the Sacramento Kings offer sheet of $80 million over four-years for Zach LaVine.
The payday has seemed to pay off for the Bulls thus far. After battling some injuries at the beginning of his Bulls career, LaVine has been smooth sailing ever since. On November 23, 2019, Zach LaVine gave Bulls fans something to cheer about with his career-high 49 point game, due to the likes of 13 three-pointers.
He is also averaging a career-high 23.7 points per game this season and was a major snub to the 2019 NBA All-Star game. LaVine has the Chicago Bulls franchise looking up, and he will soon take them back to the playoffs.
LaVine is in the midst of a four-year $78 million contract with the Chicago Bulls. In 2017 Adidas nabbed Zach LaVine to the tune of a 4-year $35 million contract. His Chicago Bulls contract makes him the 55th highest-paid player in the NBA.
Zach LaVine signed a 4-year, $ 9.6 million deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2014.
Zach LaVine signed a 4-year, $78 million deal with the Chicago Bulls in 2018.
Zach LaVine was destined for greatness. His father, Paul LaVine, was a professional football player for the USFL and NFL, and his mother, CJ, played softball. His father was a die-hard UCLA Bruins fan growing up in California, so it was only right that his son donned the blue and yellow for UCLA.
He has three sisters Camryn LaVine, Chandi Leishman, and Linda Carter. LaVine has constantly told the media that his father being hard on him as a young athlete has turned him into the player he is today.
Zach LaVine has publically shared his love life with his longtime girlfriend Hunter Mar. In 2020, LaVine shared on Instagram that he proposed to Mar.