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Chicago Bulls’ Zach LaVine could be on the market this summer

Having been coy about what his future holds, the question remains whether or not Chicago’s star will stay or go.

Paul Rudder
Chicago Bulls’ Zach LaVine could be on the market this summer
Patrick SmithAFP

Undoubtedly a star of the league, it now seems Chicago’s main man could be on the market this summer.

Zach LaVine could leave the Chicago Bulls

When the 2021-22 NBA regular season got underway, there were many who thought the Chicago Bulls would make a deep run into the post season. with DeMar DeRozan firing on all cylinders and now two time All-Star Zach LaVine playing just as an All-Star should, the campaign looked extremely promising. Ultimately it was not to be and in the most disappointing manner, the Bulls exited the playoffs in the very first round at the hands of the defending NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks. With that, there is now a decision to be made for both the player and the team.

To be clear LaVine will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, which means he can in theory go where ever he likes. Incidentally, it’s Chicago who can likely pay him the most if this becomes about money with a $212 million extension over five years on offer. Add to that the fact that the Bulls openly made a number of moves last off season to build around LaVine, with the likes of DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso being brought in and you have a scenario which begs the question ‘why would he leave?’ Yet, it’s now understood that LaVine may in fact be considering other options. According to reports, LaVine has been tied to at least four other teams in the league, those being the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks. Needless to say it would be less than ideal if the Bulls were to lose their star just one year after investing in building a team around him.

Where does Zach Lavine stand?

When asked about his future a month ago LaVine made it clear that he wants a max deal, but on the other hand was non-committal about whether or not he would stay. “I’ve been here for the last five years and I’ve really enjoyed my time,” LaVine said at the time. “I think the city — and I hope everybody — understands how much I care about the Bulls and what I’ve done for the city. I’m going into everything open-minded, but understand that my time here has been great. We’ll see what the future holds.”

Where the previously mentioned other teams are concerned, it should be said that there is really only one - the Portland Trail Blazers - that can afford to offer LaVine a max deal relative to cap space. That would of course be in keeping with the narrative that sees LaVine - a native of the Pacific Northwest - returning back home. That is not to say, however, that LaVine will be in Portland when the new season arrives. At present sign and trade deals are becoming more the norm and that’s without mentioning the ingenuity shown by many teams when they decide they want a player. On the other hand it just may be that the Bulls offer LaVine the max deal that he wants and he goes nowhere. Whatever the case, with free agency looming, expect scenario to add further layers. The Bulls will clearly want to hold on to their star, but can they convince him to stay when he will surely have no shortage of suitors.


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