Bulls Rumors: Zach LaVine May Not Seek Max Contract; Could Give Chicago DiscountMay 13, 2021
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.