Zach LaVine returning to Bulls 'not the slam dunk it once was'

Zach LaVine returning to Bulls 'not the slam dunk it once was'

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Zach LaVine returning to Bulls 'not the slam dunk it once was'

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The NBA Draft Combine is a place for young players to chase their dreams. It’s also, along with NBA Summer League, the premier destination for league gossip, with executives from all 30 teams, coaches and agents gathering in the same location. A prominent topic of conversation this week has been Zach LaVine’s future. Opinion — some of it educated, some of it guesswork — is varied on what the Chicago Bulls’ two-time All-Star guard will do when he hits unrestricted free agency on July 1. But this much is certain: His return to the Bulls no longer is considered the slam dunk it once was.
Source: K.C. Johnson @ NBC Sports

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Kurt Helin @basketballtalk
LaVine free agency rumors hot topic at Draft Combine, Lakers, Trail Blazers, Mavericks, Hawks in mix…6:56 PM
Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
Zach LaVine’s free agency, Minnesota vs. Denver, coaching news galore, breaking down bonus checks, KD stuff, Westbrook stuff and one of the most burning questions in today’s NBA … all via my latest freshly published This Week In Baskeball column:…12:36 PM
KC Johnson @KCJHoop
The NBA Draft Combine isn’t just a job interview for young players. It’s a gossip gathering for all 30 teams.
And one of the biggest topics this week? Zach LaVine’s future.
Column for @NBCSChicago:…11:19 AM
Josh Martin @LonzoWire
Could LaVine leave Chicago for Los Angeles?…7:05 AM

More on this storyline

Whether that stems from LaVine’s own exit interview with local reporters in late April or a genuine belief he will leave the franchise that still can pay him the most is unknown. What’s certain is that league gossip throughout this week has linked LaVine to at least four teams — Lakers, Trail Blazers, Mavericks, Hawks — with almost certainly more to follow. -via NBC Sports / May 20, 2022
Still, there is speculation from rival executives whether or not the Bulls will extend LaVine the full maximum contract of five years and roughly $212 million. The public stances of Reinsdorf and Karnišovas suggest otherwise. -via NBC Sports / May 20, 2022
I don’t normally pay much attention to the musings of LaVar Ball, but his pronouncement this week in a podcast interview with David Kaplan that Zach LaVine wants out of Chicago will only amplify what has been whispered by a few interested teams: There is much more hope in circulation than anticipated that LaVine can be lured away from the Bulls in free agency. Although it would almost certainly require a sign-and-trade to actually land LaVine, given that the few teams projected to have salary-cap space this summer are not in the title mix, Mr. Ball — father of Bulls guard Lonzo Ball — has just boldly stated what had been quietly surmised in recent weeks about LaVine potentially chafing from all the praise DeMar DeRozan received this season. It would be a tough outcome for Bulls GM Arturas Karnišovas if LaVine indeed tries to force his way elsewhere after Chicago made three significant trades to acquire Nikola Vučević, Lonzo Ball and DeRozan with the hope of securing LaVine’s long-term commitment. -via / May 20, 2022

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