The more we hear Zach LaVine talk about the Chicago Bulls, his new teammates and the excitement he has to try to build a winning squad in the Windy City, the easier it is to believe he wants to re-sign with the club after the upcoming season.
I recently spoke to Heavy NBA editor Sean Deveney on my show, Heavy presents I’m Just Sayin with Brian Mazique, and the veteran NBA journalist didn’t just say LaVine is likely to return to Chicago; Deveney gave me a percentage that Bulls fans will likely love to hear.
NBA Analyst Says There is a “90%” Chance Zach LaVine is Still With the Bulls After the Upcoming Season
LaVine and the Bulls could not come to an agreement on a contract extension this offseason. While it may be a little disappointing to Bulls fans, it was an expected development. LaVine would have cost himself a year on a contract and close to $130 million considering there is a good chance he’ll be eligible for a supermax deal worth more than $235 million over 5 years. Chicago could have cleared enough cap space to offer LaVine a five-year, $195 million extension, but that wouldn’t have allowed them to acquire the likes of Lonzo Ball, DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso.
With the way the Bulls and LaVine have approached it, the team stands to be better over the next few years while the player, assuming he continues on his current trajectory after a career year in 2020-21, will maximize his earning potential. Perhaps that’s why Deveney said this when I asked him for a percentage chance on LaVine remaining on the roster after the upcoming season.
“I would have to say it’s about 90 percent,” Deveney said. “I really have a hard time imagining Zach [leaving] with everything that’s happened. You know you go back to when he first got traded to Chicago; the team that that he was traded to they’re all gone; Denzel valentine and Lauri Markkanen were the last two remaining guys from that team that Zach got traded to. You’ve seen three head coaches, a change in the front office and basically a full roster turnover.”
“He has said all along he wants to be here; he wants to be the guy that they build around. He wants to break his own personal drought as far as the playoffs go. In Chicago, he wants to be a guy who leads the way. He’s in position to do that no question with this team, so yeah I’d be really surprised if after all that he’s gone through [he leaves]. He’s still a young guy, but he’s been through a lot in his career. I’d be really shocked if he turned around and hit the free agent marker. The other thing to consider, Brian, is: who’s gonna sign him? There’s not going to be a ton of free-agent cap space out there next year. So I’d really be surprised if you saw Zach playing anywhere but Chicago after next season.”
Here is a look at the segment:
The Bulls Are Going All in for Next Season
There is more wiggle room than some would suggest, but there is no secret, the Bulls have invested heavily in the upcoming season. The free-agent dollars spent to secure Ball, DeRozan and Alex Caruso were significant.
The money the team is seemingly prepared to pay to LaVine would be the grandest contract in franchise history. No matter how you look at it, the Bulls are banking on LaVine and the rest of the new Big 4 delivering a postseason appearance and title contention within the next three years.
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