Bulls G Zach LaVine told teammates of ‘First Choice’

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Unrestricted free agent Zach LaVine can begin talks with the Bulls at 5 p.m. central time on June 30.

The Chicago Bulls have been all about “continuity” this offseason. Bulls Vice President of Basketball Operations Arturas Karnisovas has repeatedly stated that he wants to see the core of last season together and healthy, a message echoed by the players. As much as the The bulls would love to bring him backthat would only be possible if they can re-sign an unrestricted free agent Zach LaVine this summer.

It could be about to become a reality, according to a History of June 27 by Joe Cowley from the Chicago Sun Times. Cowley said the Bulls were LaVine’s “first choice“.

LaVine’s decision has been speculated since the Bulls were kicked out of the playoffs. But those close to LaVine may not sweat as much as those outside.


Those who know

The topic of LaVine’s future loomed large during the June 27 introductory press conference for Dalen Terry, who the Bulls drafted with the 18th overall pick June 23.

Speaking of LaVine, Karnisovas said “conversations begin” on “June 30, 6 p.m. EST,” which is when teams can start negotiating with free agents. But, according to Cowley, those conversations “have already” happened with teammates.

“That’s not to say LaVine won’t go through the process of listening to other teams and wine and dine, but in conversations with teammates recently, Lavine insisted the Bulls were his first choice. “

Cowley’s report coincided with a ESPN 1000’s David Kaplan reportwho said the Bulls had already told LaVine they planned to offer the maximum and that he planned to accept her when free agency began on June 30.


The sky does not fall

At some point this offseason, there was a feeling in some corners that LaVine’s exit was imminent. LaVar Ball, father of Bulls point guard Lonzo Ball, told Kaplan on May 18 that LaVine was gone, a claim Kaplan also made on May 20 on his show “Unfiltered”.

A few days later, LaVine told TMZ that he had “always been a huge fan” of the Los Angeles Lakers, a comment taken by some to mean LA would be his destination.

NBA correspondent Marc Stein confirmed on May 20 the belief in some league circles that Lavine could be bought on the open market.

Then there was a reporting by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer during a June 9 appearance on the “The Bill Simmons Podcast“that the Bulls’ initial offer to LaVine was less than a maximum deal and that they were haggling to secure the fifth and final year of a deal.

But that no longer seems to be an obstacle and some league leaders have said Heavy’s Sean Deveney that they believed LaVine’s agents at Klutch Sports were responsible for all the smoke. The rumors persisted in the league.

But KC Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago reported on June 27 that they were dying.

LaVine’s contract is reportedly worth $212 million, by Jason Patt of Forbesif that is indeed the deal both sides agree to once they can officially do so.


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Updated injury statuses

LaVine’s health is right there with Ball’s in terms of importance. Karnisovas updated the statuses of both players on June 27, saying Ball was “making progress” which is an improvement from stopping his rehabilitation process. During his exit interview, the Karnisovas said that he hadn’t anticipated that LaVine’s knee injury would linger or impact negotiations.

Karnisovas remained confident about LaVine’s long-term health prospects while meeting the media with Terry, who had previously wowed local media with his energy. through Zoom the evening of the draft.

Bulls fans might not relax until the two-time All-Star puts ink to paper. But the odds of LaVine returning seem higher than they’ve ever been.

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