Bulls fans all over the world were excited to watch Zach LaVine make his official Olympic debut. After watching him perform well in each of Team USA’s exhibition games it was officially time for LaVine to head to Tokyo. Then everything came to a screeching halt. Unfortunately, LaVine has been impacted by COVID again this season. Earlier this year LaVine missed 11 games for the Bulls due to COVID. Now his status for the Olympics is up in the air.

As the team heads to Tokyo LaVine will not be joining them. Not yet at least. The Olympics kick off on Friday the 23rd and USA Basketball officially starts on July 25th. That means if LaVine can be cleared to head to Tokyo it will need to be soon. We don’t have a ton of details surrounding this but with teammate Bradley Beal exiting the team due to health and safety protocols we are hoping LaVine doesn’t have the same fate. USA teammate Jerami Grant was put in health & safety protocols at the same time as Beal but returned to the team shortly after. Hopefully, LaVine will have the same exact situation and will be with the team for the opener. With the way, LaVine played during the exhibition games Team USA could certainly use him.

LaVine was just getting started

LaVine played in all 4 of Team USA’s exhibition games and started the final two. In his four games, he was the third-highest scorer on the team at 10.8 PPG. LaVine shot 53% from the field and 41% from three. It’s not only his shooting that’s needed it’s the energy he brings. Zach was playing full-court defense on his opponents as well as creating some highlight-reel dunks.

LaVine brought energy and competitiveness to this team. Not to mention the two games LaVine started in the team won. If LaVine isn’t able to make it to Tokyo in time Team USA is going to have a big gap to fill. However, there is still hope for LaVine to make it to Tokyo in time for the games. This could be another scenario where it is out of an abundance of caution. It seems to be that way if the reports state he is hoping to join the team later in the week.

Another contact trace?

This is where we need to know more information to know if Zach will truly make it back in time. If this is just contact tracing then it’s very likely LaVine will be able to get back to the team. If this is a positive COVID situation then LaVine’s Olympic dreams are over. Like I said earlier Jerami Grant was in a similar situation and was able to get back to the team.

This likely will be a scenario where LaVine will need to have consecutive negative tests before he can rejoin the team. Once that happens he will be given the green light to get to Tokyo. At this stage, LaVine is fortunate enough to have roughly 5 days before the first game Sunday morning. If the requirement is 3 consecutive negative tests he could potentially be in the air Wednesday and give himself a couple of days to get used to the time. One thing is for sure fans everywhere will be heartbroken if LaVine can’t compete.

It’s fair to have these feelings as a Bulls fan. LaVine has put in so much work and had his first opportunity to show the world. For it to be taken away due to contact tracing would be a tough blow. We should get more information on his status in the coming days. Here’s to hoping LaVine is healthy and this is just a contact tracing situation.