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Why You Might Know Him
One thing you’re definitely getting with LaVine is an athlete – a freak athlete. His athleticism, from jumping to sprinting to agility, could stack up with anyone’s. He was one of the top performers at the NBA Draft Combine in nearly every strength and agility drill. He logged the Combine’s fastest lane agility time by a landslide at 10.42 seconds. LaVine also registered a 46-inch max vertical at his workout with the Lakers, which is 2.5 inches better than the best max vertical by any player at the Combine. LaVine’s athleticism transfers over to his game on the court. He’s aggressive in attacking defenders and has a great burst. He also has very good body control. However, he struggles to finish shots for a couple of reasons. First, his wiry frame does not allow him to absorb contact around the basket and he almost never attempts to finish with his left hand. Secondly, he consistently fades on his jumper and turns his body and shoulders. Still, though, LaVine can score the basketball. He’s a respectable shooter who can hit shots off of screens, off the dribble and on spot ups. He was most efficient off of screens during his one year at UCLA. He uses a good ball fake to free himself up for shots. Though many believe he’s a tweener, I see LaVine as a shooting guard. He has a scorer’s mentality but is also capable of hitting the open man when he wants to. He’ll just need to improve his shooting touch and mechanics in order to garner more respect on the perimeter in the NBA. He’ll also need to clean up his shot selection, as he was known to force the issue quite often at UCLA. Defensively, it is clear that LaVine has the ability to defend at a high level. His lateral quickness and length could be weapons at that end. However, he does not always give max effort. He can be caught flat-footed at times and does not fight hard to get over screens. Whichever NBA team gets a hold of him will certainly address those issues and likely rectify them. LaVine is said to be a coachable kid, and he just turned 19 years old, so he should improve drastically on defense. His future employer will also want to add strength to his frame. LaVine weighs in at just 181 pounds. Adding strength and weight will be critical to his ability to handle the physical style of NBA basketball. Overall, LaVine is stacked with potential. His athleticism is top notch and there is potential that the rest of his game will eventually catch up.
LaVine was born on March 10, 1995 in the Seattle suburb of Renton, Wash. His parents are Cheryl-Johnson LaVine and Paul LaVine and he has three sisters. He attended Bothell High School in Bothell, Wash. and was a star on the basketball team for three straight years. He averaged at least 23.0 points per game in each of his final three seasons at Bothell. He averaged an impressive 28.5 PPG as a senior. He was named Associated Press Washington state player of the year and Washington’s Mr. Basketball following that season. He was ranked 50th on the ESPN 100 list following his senior season and was recruited by UCLA, Gonzaga, Louisville, Memphis, Washington and Washington State. He signed on to play with the Bruins on June 20, 2012. LaVine averaged 9.4 PPG, 2.5 RPG and 1.8 APG while coming off of the bench during his lone season at UCLA. He declared for the NBA Draft on April 16.