League Source Sounds off on Zach LaVine-Bulls Rumors: ‘Mission Accomplished’

Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls.

Getty Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls.

Mere weeks after the Chicago Bulls’ first postseason appearance in five years, fans in the Windy City have the right to feel panicked. Despite their successful season, two-time All-Star Zach LaVine is reportedly considering leaving the team this offseason.

The reports began with LaVine’s non-committal exit interview, in which he stated that he would be entering free agency “open-minded.” From there, the rumors began to flood in. Now, it seems like every team under the sun could be chasing LaVine this summer.

However, while the origin of these rumors seems to be his exit interview, sources told Sean Deveney of Heavy.com a different story. A league source reported that the drama was created intentionally by LaVine’s agency, Klutch Sports.

“A lot of this is coming from the agents, where they want to not only get him paid but raise his profile at the same time,” the league source told Deveney. “That is their M.O. The more drama in the process, the better. No one was talking about Zach. Now everyone is. Mission accomplished.”

Mission accomplished indeed. LaVine has now been linked to multiple teams, although another GM who spoke with Deveny thinks that there is only one landing spot that makes sense for the Bulls guard.

Only One Team ‘Makes Sense’ For LaVine

According to an anonymous GM, the Portland Trail Blazers are the only team that would make any sense for LaVine this summer. They would be able to pay him, but the GM also noted that it could potentially be an even worse situation than LaVine’s with Chicago.

“Portland is out there as a possibility for him, and if he leaves, that is the only place where it would make any sense,” the GM explained. “But would he shoot more than Damian Lillard there? Of course not. It’s a lateral move, or even a step down a bit.”

Portland is set to have a good amount of cap space this summer (nearly $22 million) thanks to the trade-deadline moves they made this past season. Plus, they could clear up even more if they decide to dump Eric Bledsoe’s contract.

But while Portland and other teams have been constantly brought up in rumors sparked by LaVine’s agency, the Bulls are still feeling good about their chances.

Bulls’ Confidence Level in Re-Signing LaVine

According to KC Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, the Bulls are still confident in their ability to retain LaVine this offseason. The guard has made it clear that he wants to get paid, and they are able to give him more money than any other team.

“The Bulls are still very confident in their ability to re-sign Zach LaVine,” Johnson reported. “Michael Reinsdorf has said it. Arturas Karnisovas has said it. They still have the power to pay him more than any other franchise.”

Confidence aside, the recent rumors have made life harder on the Bulls. They will now be pressured to give LaVine the deal he wants or they could risk him leaving for another organization. Klutch Sports did their job, and now it’s up to the Bulls to respond accordingly.

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