The problem is not with him, per say... it's how the Bulls have decided to use him and I stand by that old statement. His one biggest weakness is that he does not see the game well, neither on O, nor on D. That's why he can't anticipate what's about to happen, nor see the triple team in the lane when he drives. That's why he does not rotate well on D, or at all many times.
But, he is an insanely talented scorer, if put in the right spots and the only player apart from Lauri on the current team that has 'gravity'. The Dubs pre-Durant showed how you use two players with gravity... and that is, get somebody else (Dray) who moves the ball very well and sees the game, and have these two (Steph and Klay) move constantly, off-ball. That was Kerr's genius and why Mark Jackson couldn't get anywhere with almost the same roster. When you put the ball in the hands on an elite shooter and ask him to create, you actually emphasize his weaknesses (unless they are an all-time great) because he needs to make decisions on the P&R, when to pass, when to drive, etc... and that is with two extremely high IQ players. If you remember, the pre-Kerr Dubs were in essence Klay and Steph taking turns going solo with some David Lee P&R thrown in there. These guys still got numbers, and won some, but a simple change in play style (and Dray + Iggy facilitating) turned them into a dynasty.
That's how Zach has to be used on a good team. The D can't afford to lose him or else he'd be dunking or shooting open 3s all night. He'll have to learn to move off ball and cut and the like, but unlike real-time feel for the game, moving off-ball CAN be taught. And there is evidence to back that up--some of Zach's best games as a Bull came when he was a catch-and-shoot, catch-and-dunk player.
But, the Bulls need a playmaker or two who sees the field well. I was hoping that can be WCJ when he got drafted, but he's been put in the garbage-man role. It's not Lauri--Lauri needs a playmaker more than anybody else on the team. The Bulls need a poor-man's Scottie at the 3 real, real bad, if Coby is to start. In other words, the Bulls need at least two very bright players that touch the ball in good spots a lot. Bam for example, will make Zach look much better, just like a healthy and engaged Otto did for that brief stint.
100%. Someone said Zach has achieved/playing above his ceiling. I disagree. Zach's ceiling is much much higher. He's developed his individual game so high, that now we need a specific piece around him to unlock the next level.
White showed really impressive displays for scoring and pull-up jumpers AS A ROOKIE. But seems like he could potentially be limited in many of the ways Zach is (his defensive instincts are at least several steps higher than Lavine's was or ever has been, but his creation for others seemed similarly poor like Lavine's early years, so not expecting much but also not writing it off). I would love to have two dynamic scorers like that on our perimeter; it's a potential that's pretty rare (Portland/GS are the two pinnacles there).
I love Lavine more and more, especially post quarantine. He checks so many of the boxes off the court. Work ethic: undoubtedly checked. He's displayed a really outgoing personality and every time I see/hear him he seems real humble and down to earth (which usually makes a good teammate). I watched the whole NBA2K game that he played against Ayton; he was funny, carried the conversation, just in general really strong interpersonal skills. Then he also did the HORSE comp and was similar again. That stuff may seem irrelevant, but to me it points to some makings of a good locker-room leader. He doesn't seem to have other rubbed guys the wrong way, but I've also not heard a lot about how much guys gravitate around him.
All that said, I too think the perfect Small Forward could unlock a major win difference in this team. Porter could be close, he provides even more spacing, can handle a little, high IQ when it comes to defense and shot selection, reliable as an above average defensder. But he's never on the floor.
I wonder if DeRozan could take the Iggy route as he ages. DeRozan is incredible (at SF) with on-ball decision making imo. He is very limited with his range, but so was Iggy (consistently 30-33% on 3 attempts before getting to GS). DeRozan's last year in Toronto they tried to have him take more 3P, and he took just over 3 per game for first time, and hit 31%. Obviously in SA they've just doubled down on his 2P game. I think he's the most interesting SF to me for future years with Lavine/White. Joe Ingles is intriguing too. Not sure what other Forward out there would be good enough all around.