NBA Rumor: Zach LaVine Extension?

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Zach LaVine is eligible for a contract extension with the Chicago Bulls in the next few days. He reiterated Monday that he wants to be rewarded for his All-Star level of play but will work with the team’s front office as it looks to use cap space for new talent. “I just want my respect, that’s the main thing,” LaVine said Monday after practice ahead of Team USA’s quarterfinal game against Spain set for Tuesday. “I outplayed my contract. I’ve been very loyal to Chicago. I like Chicago. I just want my respect. If that’s now or later, it’s something we’ve got to work out internally.”

LaVine, 26, has one season left on his contract at $19.5 million. The Bulls are limited in how much they can extend for him based on that number, which at most would come out to a deal that could reach up to $105 million over four years. That figure, however, is likely below LaVine’s market value. It is likely the only way LaVine would agree to an extension now, sources said, is if the Bulls invoke a rarely used provision where they can use cap space to increase LaVine’s salary for the upcoming season and then build a new extension off that number. A so-called “renegotiation and extension.”

Rob Schaefer: Zach LaVine on what he’s conveyed to Bulls about a potential extension. If Bulls decide to take route to cap space, pursuing upgrades through free agency or renegotiating + extending LaVine’s current contract are two options on table.

Do you have a preference whether that gets done this offseason or next offseason? Zach LaVine: With me, I try to let my agent handle everything. But as long as it gets done, I’ll be happy. I mean, obviously, I want to be with the Bulls and you don’t want to implicate, you know, free agency, and I understand, like the cap room that goes into it with a sizable extension with me. So, I want the team to be good, but then I also want to be taken care of as well. I feel like I’ve done really well by the Bulls, and obviously I want to be here long-term, and I feel like I deserve what I get. So, it is what it is. We’ll figure (it) out when that comes. If it’s this year, next year, we’ll just see what happens.

The contract that’s about to expire is the four-year, $78 million offer sheet you signed with the Kings in 2018 that the Bulls later matched. It’s safe to say you’ve outperformed that deal. Does that add to your sentiment of making sure you get what you “deserve” in this next deal? Zach LaVine: I always add things that give fuel to the fire. When I signed the offer sheet, obviously, I was coming off a torn ACL, and you have to go out and get an offer sheet. That made me go out here and want to prove to everybody that — one, I’m gonna be better than what I was when I got traded here, and two, I’m better than the contract that I was given.

Zach LaVine: Now, I think I outplayed it. I think my numbers have said for the last four years that I outplayed that contract. I think I was one of the only guys that were in the top 20 in scoring for the last four years that was getting paid under $20 million. I think I might be the only player in the entire NBA like that, besides the guys in their rookie contract. So we’ll see what happens. I think I understand where I’m at as a player and what I deserve. And I think the Bulls do as well. It just depends on when we want to do it.

Zach LaVine not signing extension

Convincing Zach LaVine the Bulls are building a playoff contender is important when you consider the 26-year-old’s “big focus” coming into the season was to get Chicago into the playoffs. That’s why rival executives anticipate the Bulls will try to lock up LaVine with a contract extension (he will make $19.5 million this season and next) but know he’ll likely let his deal lapse, become an unrestricted free agent and sign what will be a more lucrative multiyear max pact.

So the Wolves’ primary focus will be on free-agent acquisitions and making decisions on whether to extend third-year players Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine. Those two are under contract through the 2018-19 season, but in those seasons they would be restricted free agents, and it might be smarter to try and get extensions done now. “We might have to address Wiggins and Zach during this summer to extend their contracts but we could wait two years and Towns would be one year after that,” Taylor said. “It’s something we can start negotiating with them this year but we don’t have to.”
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September 22, 2021 | 7:42 pm EDT Update