Bulls Rumors: Zach LaVine May Not Seek Max Contract; Could Give Chicago Discount

Adam WellsMay 13, 2021

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine plays during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, May 9, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

With Zach LaVine eligible for a contract extension this summer, the All-Star guard might be willing to take a discounted deal from the Chicago Bulls. 

Per Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, if the Bulls add "key role players around him" then that could potentially persuade LaVine to accept an extension for less than the max. 

LaVine's long-term future has been the subject of speculation while the Bulls have fought for a spot in the playoffs this season.

In April, B/R's A. Sherrod Blakely reported LaVine will "likely let his deal lapse" to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2021-22 season and "sign what will be a more lucrative multiyear max pact."

The Bulls made a big move at the trade deadline in March to acquire Nikola Vucevic and Al-Farouq Aminu for Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter Jr. and two first-round picks. They also added Daniel Theis and Javonte Green in a separate deal with the Boston Celtics.

Vucevic, Patrick Williams and Coby White are the only Bulls players under contract after the 2021-22 season. That could give them some flexibility to pursue free agents or add a high-salary player in a trade this summer.

Things haven't gone as expected in Chicago since those trades. The team has a 29-40 record and is on the verge of missing the playoffs, with one more loss or a win by the Washington Wizards sealing their fate.

LaVine is set to earn $19.5 million in 2021-22, the final year of a four-year, $78 million deal he signed in July 2018. He's in the midst of the best season of career with 27.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game in 57 starts.