Zach LaVine is a gym rat. We know this and we have since Flip Saunders took a chance on him with the No. 13 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
After his second season, a season in which the former UCLA wing played in five more games, 392 more minutes and was fouled about 13 times more than his rookie season, maybe LaVine would take a bit of a break this offseason.
Probably not, but maybe?
LaVine’s been getting to work.
To start the offseason, LaVine hit the weights with his awesome dad, Paul LaVine. Paul crashed his son’s press conference at All-Star Weekend and asked where Zach where he got all of his athletic ability from.
Media members, most going on four hours of sleep, had a good chuckle. It was a heartwarming moment.
Zach later admitted that yeah, it probably came from his dad. A guy who played in three games for the Seattle Seahawks in 1987 as a linebacker. Prior to that, he played football at Utah State.
Hitting the weights with his pops has helped, according to basketball trainer Drew Hanlen via Timothy Parochka.
“LaVine spent the first month of the offseason with his dad and he appears a lot stronger than he was last season,” Hanlen said.
He’s been in the gym, as well, getting shots up with Hanlen and others.
Here he is going up against a man with padded arms hitting LaVine as he tries to get space for a shot.
You obviously can’t wear giant pads on your arms in the NBA. Not yet at least. But if that ever happens, LaVine will be ready.
Next, he’s at an appointment with Dr. Dish.
Dr. Dish isn’t a real doctor. It isn't going to test your blood pressure. But it is something most pros use to work on their shot from deep. LaVine shot a career-high 38.9 percent from deep last season. If this clip is any indication, we should probably expect him to hit the 40 percent mark next season. That would be super-welcomed by the Wolves. They haven’t had a 40 percent 3-point shooter since 2010-11 when Luke Ridnour, Kevin Love, Martell Webster and Anthony Tolliver each eclipsed that mark.
Next, LaVine is just pushing a bunch of heavy-looking stuff around a football field.
The lady on the track is all like, “smh, what is he doing?”
Notice in LaVine’s caption that this field work is BEFORE THE GYM. For most of us, this would be like the only workout we did all year and we’d feel pretty good about it.
Not for LaVine, though. This is just an app sampler.
And finally, here he is with Hanlen, working on his ball handling.
It’s worth noting that Hanlen also works with Timberwolves wing Andrew Wiggins, LaVine’s Bounce Bro.
When he was drafted, there was chatter that Saunders reached. Sure, there was a lot of potential, but potential is also a pretty dangerous word.
But LaVine has exceeded expectations so far. He’s coming off a season in which he averaged 14 points per game while shooting 45.2 percent from the field, 38.9 percent from the 3-point line and 79.3 percent from the free-throw line. He won last year’s Rising Stars MVP and (of course) he’s won two Slam Dunk Contests.
But bigger things are coming for LaVine and that becomes obvious when you see how hard he works. You don’t just get asked to be on the USA Select Team for the fun of it.
The 2016-17 season should be a good one for LaVine. He’s certainly put himself in a position to succeed, especially if padded arms make way into the NBA.