East Notes: Bulls, Zach LaVine, Raptors, Celtics


  • Shooting guard Zach LaVine will miss the season opener with a lingering left knee issue, the Bulls announced in a press release. He could potentially also miss Friday’s game, a visit to the Wizards, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
  • The Bulls are already without starting point guard Lonzo Ball, who has a knee issue of his own, dating back to last season. LaVine very well could make his debut in Saturday’s home game against the Cavaliers.
  • LaVine said he wants to be completely comfortable before making his debut. “I think that’s been the main thing, not having any aches and pains and being able to go out there and really play without any limitations in my own mind,” he said, via Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. “Like, ‘OK, I can’t go left.’ Or, ‘I might not be able to dunk on this play.’ You’re not supposed to be thinking that way when you play basketball. I dealt with that a lot last year.”


  • The Raptors have picked up the 2023-24 options on guard Malachi Flynn, forward/center Precious Achiuwa and small forward Scottie Barnes, the reigning Rookie of the Year, the team announced.
  • As we relayed already, forward Pascal Siakam was among the 2019 first-round draft picks who did not agree to an extension ahead of Monday’s deadline, per Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca. So it appears Siakam is betting on himself to land a larger payday than the extension would have offered, Lewenberg noted.


Acting coach Joe Mazzulla didn’t seem the least bit rattled in his Celtics debut, a win over the 76ers.

 “From the start of the game, his confidence, you could see, is oozing out,” guard Marcus Smart said, via Jared Weiss of The Athletic. “Usually, most coaches are trying to figure things out, and he comes right in like he’s doing it for years.” Jaylen Brown agreed with Smart’s assessment: “Joe is tough as nails. Even when in the midst of everything, all the turmoil, when you looked into his eyes, you could tell he was ready.”

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