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.
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Malika Andrews: It’s official: Zach LaVine inks his deal with the Bulls. pic.twitter.com/FHQfChnnux
KC Johnson: Paxson on LaVine’s play and upcoming negotiations: “We anticipated he’d have ups and downs.”
KC Johnson: Paxson: “We need Zach LaVine to be a better basketball player.” Said Dunn and Markkanen have to put work in to improve this summer too.
Jeff Zillgitt: NBA rookie extension scorecard: No extensions for Jabari Parker, Zach LaVine, Aaron Gordon, I’m told. Extensions: Wiggins, Warren, Harris.
The good news is that the Timberwolves will need to make only one phone call for extension dialogue with Wiggins and LaVine because they have the same representative in agent Bill Duffy. But the players have different circumstances. LaVine is recovering from right ACL surgery in mid-February, and the Timberwolves need to measure their comfort level in giving Wiggins a max-level contract.
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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May 8, 2021 | 9:34 pm EDT Update
The Sixers won their eighth straight game with a 118-104 victory over the Pistons on Saturday night, moving ever so closer to locking down the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Joel Embiid led the way with 29 points, and strong efforts from Dwight Howard and Tyrese Maxey were among the standouts from the supporting cast.
Justin Grasso: Doc Rivers on the playoff rotation: “I think we’re very comfortable with who were are going to play. I think we’ve been comfortable.” Says they “won’t blink” at playing 11 guys if they need to
May 8, 2021 | 8:54 pm EDT Update
Fred Katz: There it is. Russell Westbrook has officially tied Oscar Robertson’s all-time triple-double record of 181 for a career, a record that has stood for 47 years. Westbrook now has 21 triple-doubles in his last 25 games and will go for the record Monday against the Hawks.