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Zach LaVine, Bulls Agree to 5-Year, $215M Max Contract

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 1, 2022

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

After allowing him to hit free agency, the Chicago Bulls re-signed guard Zach LaVine on Friday to a five-year, $215.2 million max contract with a player option for the fifth year, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

In 67 games during the 2021-22 campaign, LaVine averaged 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.8 three-pointers per game while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 38.9 percent from beyond the arc, earning his second consecutive All-Star nod.

LaVine helped lead the Bulls to the playoffs for the first time since the 2016-17 season, although they fell in the first round to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The 27-year-old enjoyed a career year in his fourth season with the Bulls in 2020-21 with 27.4 points, 4.9 assists and 5.0 rebounds a night.

LaVine built upon the big numbers he put up in 2019-20, averaging 25.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game, and 2018-19, when he averaged 23.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 63 games.

That productive 2020-21 campaign saw LaVine named an All-Star for the first time, and he was selected for Team USA at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2021.

Chicago acquired LaVine from the Minnesota Timberwolves during the 2017 offseason in the trade that sent Jimmy Butler to the T-Wolves.

LaVine missed most of the 2017-18 season as he recovered from a torn left ACL, averaging 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists per contest in 24 games.

The Bulls made LaVine a key part of their rebuild when they matched a four-year, $78 million offer sheet that he signed with the Sacramento Kings as a restricted free agent in 2018.

Keeping LaVine in the fold again should help the Bulls maintain their status as a playoff team and perhaps become a championship contender in the Eastern Conference.

Chicago features a strong core of LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, Coby White, Nikola Vucevic, Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu and Patrick Williams.

The Bulls may have to make some tweaks to truly contend for titles, but keeping their best player is a step in the right direction.

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