Zach LaVine has been a household name for a few years now, but he’s hitting another level this season. He’s averaging 27.5 points a game, which is a career-high, and he also made his first All-Star team. At just 26-years-old, he’s certainly on an upward trajectory.
He’s been the best player for the Chicago Bulls, but the team has been struggling this year. They are the 11th seed in the Eastern Conference at 23-33. The once-dominant franchise has only been to the playoffs once in five years. LaVine is set to hit free agency next year if he doesn’t sign an extension. According to A. Sherrod Blakely of Bleacher Report, LaVine isn’t likely to do that.
“That’s why rival executives anticipate the Bulls will try to lock up LaVine with a contract extension (he will make $19.5 million this season and next) but know he’ll likely let his deal lapse, become an unrestricted free agent and sign what will be a more lucrative multiyear max pact,” Blakely wrote.
If does head to free agency, that doesn’t mean that he’s leaving Chicago. However, it will make him one of the most intriguing players to watch next season. If he builds on this current season and improves further, he’s going to be highly sought after on the free-agent market.
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LaVine’s Dream Is to Play With LeBron
Whenever a young star seemingly will be available at some point, the Los Angeles Lakers always come to mind. LaVine doesn’t have any direct ties to Los Angeles but he did make some notable comments in the past about LeBron James.
“There’s a lot of dudes out there I’d love to play with, but is it going to be realistic?” LaVine said on ESPN’s “First Take” last year. “Everybody wants to play with the best players in the world, you know. I would love to go out there and play with a dude like LeBron James, but you’re not going to get those types of opportunities I don’t think.”
LeBron will be with the Lakers in 2022 so LaVine will have his best chance at playing with him. While some players have skipped the opportunity to play with the superstar, there’s no doubt that he’s appealing for a large number of players.
Will Lakers Take a Look at LaVine?
As long as he keeps playing at a high level, LaVine would be a good fit with the Lakers. He’s a strong 3-point shooter as he’s hit 38.4% of his career attempts. The team could use an elite scorer and shooter at shooting guard. He’d be able to fit in seamlessly into the Lakers’ starting lineup.
A starting lineup featuring LeBron, LaVine and Anthony Davis would be one of the best in the league. LaVine isn’t an elite defender, but Frank Vogel has an excellent track record of getting players to play better defense. Eventually, Los Angeles needs to find a younger superstar to pair with Davis. The team will get linked to a lot of names over the next few years. LaVine is certainly a guy they’re going to take a serious look at.