Zach LaVine is coming off a career year with the Chicago Bulls. After showing flashes of potential for many seasons, the 26-year-old really put it all together in 2020-21 – averaging 27.4 points per game on the best shooting of his career.
LaVine is currently in the last year of the four-year, $78 million contract he signed in 2018. He is eligible to sign an extension worth up to $105 million over four years with the Bulls, but it remains unclear whether he’d be willing to accept that.
Fortunately, Chicago has some flexibility. If the front office doesn’t extend LaVine this summer, they can still sign him to a deal next year when he’s an unrestricted free agent.
This past week, LaVine revealed what precisely he was expecting from the Bulls.
“I just want my respect, that’s the main thing,” LaVine said.
“I outplayed my contract. I’ve been very loyal to Chicago. I like Chicago. I just want my respect. If that’s now or later, it’s something we’ve got to work out internally.”
As noted by Brian Windhorst of ESPN, there are some financial limitations in place that could prevent Chicago from giving LaVine the sort of money he believes he deserves.
“The Bulls are limited in how much they can extend for him based on that number, which at most would come out to a deal that could reach up to $105 million over four years,” he wrote. “That figure, however, is likely below LaVine’s market value…It leaves the Bulls in a position where they might have to decide between upgrading the roster via free agency or securing their franchise player.”
The Bucks owner’s daughter decided to bring 2021 in with a bang by stripping all her clothes off. https://t.co/UgzhEEna4o
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 7, 2021
LaVine has been brutally honest about his future in Chicago this entire time, so his blunt talk from this past week shouldn’t surprise anyone.
During the regular season two teams expressed serious interest in acquiring the All-Star via trade, so if the Bulls can’t ultimately get something done with him, that option always remains on the table as well.
Michael Kyaw, initially a PR Manager, built up a valuable network of connections in the sports world that he then utilized to become an influential sports business reporter. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, Fansided, ESPN and the Wall Street Journal.