The Chicago Bulls remain cautious with Zach Lavine. During the team's first practice ahead of the 2017-18 season, head coach Fred Hoiberg shared details regarding LaVine's recovery. The reigning slam dunk champion got diagnosed with an ACL tear in his left knee back in February when he was still with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He immediately underwent surgery to address the injury.

According to Hoiberg, LaVine is "doing a lot of things." He revealed that the guard is already working out, running, and lifting weights. However, the Bulls have yet to include him in full-contact activities because they are following the timetable set by doctors.

The 22-year-old is expected to be on the sidelines for nine months, which means he will receive clearance by November.

Despite the limitations, Hoiberg is pleased with LaVine's recovery. "He's doing everything he should be doing at this time and is really ahead of schedule," Hoiberg said. The Bulls coach is looking forward to LaVine joining them in practices and returning to action soon.

Big shoes to fill in Chicago

Once LaVine is playing again, he needs to step up for the Bulls. When he came to Chicago, the team still had Dwyane Wade, who was the starting shooting guard in the 2016-17 season. However, the veteran is no longer in the Windy City. It means LaVine would likely take the job Wade vacated.

The Bulls newcomer is no stranger to the starting role. Last season with the Timberwolves, LaVine played and started in 47 games. In his first season as a full-time starter, he recorded career-bests in scoring and rebounding. LaVine averaged 18.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per outing during his final year in Minnesota.

Bulls keeping Nikola Mirotic

In other Bulls news, it is now official that Nikola Mirotic will continue to represent Chicago. A separate report by ESPN mentioned that the Bulls and Mirotic reached an agreement for a new contract. It is a two-year deal that is going to earn the 26-year-old a guaranteed $12.5 million. The second year of the pact is a team option.

Mirotic said he is "happy" with his new deal and is " very thankful" to the Bulls. The big man explained that in the offseason, he worked hard so he can be consistent for Chicago. Mirotic's inconsistency in his first three seasons in the NBA has been an issue for him. Even if his performance was shaky in the past, he remains a key player off the bench for the Bulls.