With the league-wide moratorium ending this morning, there was finally some news on the Zach LaVine front. As expected, at least a little bit, Zach LaVine has gotten his offer from the Sacramento Kings:
RFA Zach LaVine has agreed to a four-year, $80M offer sheet with the Sacramento Kings, league sources tell Yahoo. The Chicago Bulls have 48 hours to match.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 6, 2018
This figure suggests that the Kings are using all their available cap room for the first year of the contract. No word yet on any other ‘poison pills’ or other chicanery used in this offer (something that can happen with RFA offer sheets).
At that figure...it’s about just over what the Bulls were reportedly comfortable paying. KC Johnson had a report earlier this morning saying that the Bulls have maintained in contact with LaVine, to the point where they told him a $14m offer rumor wasn’t accurate, and “proactively negotiated with LaVine in good faith with a strong, multiyear offer that could be in the $18 million range annually.”
At $20m per, the Bulls are in a pretty tough spot. On the one hand, you don’t want to see young talent simply walk, regardless of LaVine’s involvement in the Jimmy Butler trade (that shouldn’t matter, IMO). But that figure looks to be way too high for what LaVine has proven to be: someone coming off an major injury and never really indicative of a player who helps you win games. But, he still was just coming off that injury in his time as a Bull, and can develop. Whether he can develop playmaking and defensive instincts is another question.
Personally I’m torn on this...I think the ‘2019 plan’ is pretty much garbage, but also that LaVine...while someone you should want to keep on an objective basis, subjectively at this number is a tough ask. Not so much for overall payroll reasons (Bulls have plenty of room) but whether that can be a moveable contract in the future.
The Bulls have 2 days to match, guess everyone has to come in the building and work on a weekend.