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Zach LaVine on Signing Long-Term Contract with Bulls: 'I Want to Stay'

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIIMarch 26, 2021

Chicago Bulls' Zach Lavine (8) looks to drive during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Monday, March 22, 2021, in Chicago. Utah won 120-95. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
Paul Beaty/Associated Press

Zach LaVine wants to stay with the Chicago Bulls long-term.

Asked on Friday if their acquisition of big man Nikola Vucevic at the trade deadline makes him more likely to sign an extension before his contract expires next year or re-sign when he's a free agent, the All-Star guard didn't hesitate.

"I want to stay in Chicago. I haven't had anything of wanting to leave. When that time comes, obviously I'll try to do the best I can to stay here," LaVine told reporters. "Adding someone like [Vucevic] and being more attractive in the free-agent market to bring more players here is always a bonus for any player."

The last part of LaVine's comments ring loudly around the United Center as the Bulls have repeatedly tried and failed to lure top free agents to Chicago in recent years. 

Efforts to bring in stars like Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Anthony Davis and LeBron James over the last two decades have failed, with Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo serving as the team's most high-profile signings in recent memory. Neither returned for a second season.  

First-year executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley are working to turn that around with DeMar DeRozan, Mike Conley, Kyle Lowry and Chris Paul (player option for 2021-22) among this summer's top free agents. 

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A new core built around LaVine, Vucevic, Coby White and Patrick Williams might have better luck than past Bulls teams.

Under head coach Tom Thibodeau, point guard Derrick Rose refused to recruit free agents to Chicago, saying, "If you want to come here, come here, but it's not up to me to make that decision."

LaVine doesn't appear as opposed to that as Rose was. Now he's got another All-Star around him in Vucevic to help his cause. 

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