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Zach LaVine Rumors: Bulls 'Very Confident' They Can Re-Sign Star in Free Agency

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 26, 2022

AP Photo/Morry Gash

The Chicago Bulls reportedly remain "very confident" they can re-sign two-time All-Star Zach LaVine, who's an impending unrestricted free agent.

K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago reported the update Tuesday during an appearance on the Mully & Haugh Show, saying it's a "safe bet" LaVine will stay with the Bulls despite "serious" interest from other teams.

"I'm just reporting what I was hearing at the combine—and that is multiple people connected to other teams, agents, etc.—the chatter at that combine, the representation of that chatter is that Zach is very much in play," Johnson said.

LaVine didn't make an All-NBA team for the 2021-22 season, which means he's ineligible for a supermax extension from the Bulls.

He can instead receive either a five-year, $212.3 million offer from Chicago or a four-year, $157.4 million proposal from another team, per ESPN's Bobby Marks.

It's also possible he could sign the five-year deal with Chicago as part of a sign-and-trade agreement that would allow the Bulls to prevent losing one of their key players for nothing.

Johnson noted the 27-year-old guard is going to explore his options and will likely receive "aggressive" bids from other teams, but the Bulls are still hopeful they can keep him.

"It's going to be a fascinating free agency in July," Johnson said.

Meanwhile, Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported Tuesday the idea the Bulls would be able to quickly re-sign LaVine has "dissolved," but he's also hearing the team is "likely to retain" the 2014 first-round pick.

The Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs are viewed as possible suitors on the open market, per Fischer.

LaVine is coming off a season in which he averaged 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists while shooting 47.6 percent from the field. He also knocked down 2.8 threes per game while making 38.9 percent from beyond the arc.

A move to a new team would have the potential to shift the balance of power in one of the conference's playoff races, and it would leave a massive void in Chicago.

For now, he's focused on his recovery from knee surgery while waiting for his opportunity to hit the free-agent market.

The success of the Bulls' offseason likely hinges on convincing him to stay once he hears those pitches from other organizations.

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