Bulls' Zach LaVine will soon be a free agent so what happens next?
The Chicago Bulls have a superstar on their roster, but as things stand he's not being paid like one. Should they fail to pay him someone else will.
The Chicago Bulls have a genuine star on their hands, but the question that remains is 'do they pay him like one?'
Zach LaVine talks free agency and salary
Zach LaVine is fast becoming a household name. A late pick in the lottery, LaVine wasn't afforded the opportunity to see the kind of lucrative deals that are normally offered to top picks in the draft. Though he did manage to secure himself a decent contract with the Bulls, it was only after some degree of persuasion first - he disclosed that he had signed an offer sheet with the Sacramento Kings. This is all to say that quite frankly, for what he brings to the table, Zach LaVine is underpaid. With his free agency approaching in summer, LaVine has now made it clear that if he doesn't get what he deserves then he may well look elsewhere to see that he does.
"I think we all get what we deserve at the level we play at, for our team and around the league. I think I stack up with everybody at that level," LaVine told Yahoo Sports. "We'll let the chips fall. Is the [max] the goal? I don't know if it's the goal, but I should be getting what I deserve."
Is Zach LaVine worth it?
Max or not the reality is that LaVine deserves a lot more than what he's currently getting. A two-time All-Star and leader of one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, it would be reasonable to assume that should the Bulls fail to offer LaVine better terms, another team will. As for his options, they break down like this:
If LaVine remains in Chicago, he will be eligible for a five-year, $210 million pact no matter what. On the other hand should LaVine choose to go, which would appear to be the least likely option, he would be in line for approximately $163 million over four years from a new team. It should be noted, however, that if LaVine manages to earn All-NBA honors this season - a likely outcome given his form - he will be eligible for the designated veteran "supermax" contract. What does that mean? LaVine would receive somewhere in the realm of $245 million over five years.
What happens with Zach LaVine now?
When it comes down to it, LaVine will almost certainly be offered one of the above mentioned contracts. It would be quite simply illogical for any team - the Bulls included - to turn a blind eye to a player who has been an All-Star more than once and is still in his mid-20s. Suffice to say there are at least five teams at present who are likely to have enough salary cap space to accomdate a player of LaVine's caliber. Indeed the truth is, if the Bulls don't give LaVine what he's worth, then one of San Antonio, Detroit, Orlando, Indiana and Portland surely will.