It sounds like last night’s meeting went well, as early on day-2 of free agency Klutch Sports’s head of PR Shams Charania announced that Zach LaVine is staying in Chicago.
It’s for the full 5-year max LaVine was eligible for, over $215M, and the Bulls even put a little on top with making the 5th year a player option, so LaVine could potentially try free agency again when he’s 31.
This isn’t a surprise if the Bulls were normal, but I am pleasantly surprised the Bulls didn’t try and negotiate and delay. Plus we heard from Zach himself at the end of last season that he’d spend some time fielding offers and taking meetings.
So I was wrong and the Bulls just paid the man his money. But they’re still being weird this offseason, with rumors that they are not looking to go into the tax heading into the season, and tailoring their free agent offers to that effect.
And if looking at this objectively, if the Bulls are going to be the same old mid-market franchise that won’t go into the tax (and only claim they’ll do so for ‘a contender’) then does it even make sense to spend that much of your payroll budget on Zach LaVine? And why would LaVine want to stay with a team that won’t commit the resources they can to add help?
I suppose the answer is that this the NBA, and if you’re a star you get the money (this is more than LaVine could’ve received from other teams) and figure out your situation later. The Bulls shouldn’t stand pat because they did their most important piece of business.