Bulls' Zach LaVine Will 'Look at Everything' and Be 'Open-Eyed' in Free Agency

Adam WellsApril 29, 2022

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 24: Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls smiles before the game against the Milwaukee Bucks during Round 1 Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2022 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

With the Chicago Bulls being eliminated from the postseason by the Milwaukee Bucks, Zach LaVine's impending free agency has become the biggest storyline for the organization. 

Speaking to reporters during an end-of-season press conference on Friday, LaVine said he is going to stay "open-eyed" when asked if the Bulls were the leader in the clubhouse to sign him. 

The two-time All-Star added that free agency is a "big decision" and he intends to "look at everything" available to him.

LaVine was unable to play in Game 5 against the Bucks due to health and safety protocols. The Bulls lost 116-100, ending their season in the first round of the playoffs. 

Despite the abrupt end to their postseason run, the entire 2021-22 campaign was a significant step forward for the organization. They finished over .500 for the first time since 2015-16 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2016-17. 

B/R's A. Sherrod Blakely reported in April 2021 the Bulls were expected to offer LaVine an extension, but he would likely let his deal lapse in order to sign a more lucrative contract in summer 2022. 

Instead, the Bulls didn't offer LaVine a new deal. He told Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports in September there were no hard feelings because it was a "business" decision.

LaVine can sign a five-year extension worth around $200 million with the Bulls or a four-year deal worth about $160 million with another team this offseason. 

One potential concern for any team when deciding what to offer LaVine is health. The 27-year-old has missed at least 14 games in five of the past six seasons. 

Per Spotrac, the Bulls already have $100 million in salary commitments for 2022-23 on the books. LaVine and Derrick Jones Jr. are the team's top two unrestricted free agents. 

Chicago acquired LaVine from the Minnesota Timberwolves in June 2018 as part of the Jimmy Butler trade. He has blossomed into one of the best shooting guards in the NBA over the past five seasons. 

LaVine has been named to the All-Star team in each of the past two seasons. He has averaged at least 23.7 points per game every season since 2018-19 and has made 49.1 percent of his field-goal attempts since the start of the 2020-21 campaign.