Bulls GM Sends Strong Message to Zach LaVine Amid Exit Rumors

Zach LaVine

Getty Images Zach LaVine

The NBA Draft has come on gone for the Chicago Bulls after the team drafted Arizona wing, Dalen Terry, with the 18th overall pick on Thursday night. With the draft over the Bulls will now turn their full attention to the next order of business, free agency, which begins on June 30.

Once free agency begins the Bulls will try to re-sign two-time all-star Zach LaVine. Chicago can offer LaVine a max contract of five years at $212 million, while other teams can offer him a four-year deal worth $157 million.

A few teams will reportedly be vying for LaVine’s services on June 30 including the Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Lakers, and San Antonio Spurs. However, the latest reports suggest that the Bulls are the favorites to keep LaVine.

Bulls are Prepared

On Thursday night Bulls General Manager Marc Eversley held a post-draft media session where he talked about the team selecting Terry. Eversley also discussed trying to re-sign LaVine.

“I think we’re prepared to do what it would take to bring Zach back in the fold and be a Chicago Bulls,” Eversley said, “and again we look forward to sitting down with Zach and Rich Paul and talking about what the future could look like with the Chicago Bulls.”

After that Eversley was asked if he thinks LaVine will go through the free agency process and or have a quick resolution to which he said “I don’t know”. While Eversley didn’t offer a ton of insight with his answers, it’s encouraging for Bulls fans to hear that the team is prepared to do what it takes to keep LaVine.

Other Business

If the Bulls can re-sign LaVine the team will then look for other ways to improve the roster around the core. Chicago has popped up in reports of being interested in veteran wings like Nicolas Batum and P.J. Tucker.

Both are players that could help the Bulls both on the court and in the locker room. Both players could also be affordable for a Bulls team that doesn’t look like they’ll have much cap space if they re-sign LaVine to a max deal.

Also, the rumors of trading for Jazz center Rudy Gobert are also still out there as free agency approaches. If the Bulls were to make a trade it’s likely it would be centered around Nikola Vucevic and Coby White going to Utah, but it’s unclear what else the Jazz would want.

The Bulls have continued to be unwilling to put Patrick Williams in any trade. Only time will tell if that ends up being what causes a deal not to get done between the two teams.

Another concern for the Bulls this summer is trying to get Lonzo Ball healthy after he missed the second half of the season with a knee injury. Ball attempted to start his return process in March but could never ramp his rehab enough to get back.

On Thursday night Eversly said that Ball is working out in Los Angeles and the Bulls performance staff has gone out to see him each week. He added that all reports are good and that Ball has been making progress but when asked if he’d ready for training camp Eversley said “I certainly hope so”.