NBA Rumor: Zach LaVine Free Agency

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Bradley Beal and Zach LaVine targets for Portland?

League sources say the Blazers are exploring trades for veterans who can help Damian Lillard lead the team back to the postseason. Bradley Beal and Zach LaVine are potential targets, according to sources. Lillard befriended Beal through their experience with Team USA, and the Wizards star has a player option for next season. So he could make his way to Portland either as a free agent or via trade.

For the Heat to make such an acquisition of Zach LaVine, Gozlan says Kyle Lowry would need to be involved: A sign-and-trade sending LaVine to Miami would very likely require Kyle Lowry to be included, because it will be nearly impossible to stay under the hard cap with him along with Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and LaVine all on max contracts. A package of two-to-three first round picks, along with Lowry and Tyler Herro to match salaries would probably be the framework of such a deal. Although they would be hard capped in this scenario, they’d still have enough flexibility to keep Duncan Robinson and their minimum studs, use the taxpayer mid-level exception, give PJ Tucker a $1.1 million raise, and only sign an additional 3-4 more minimum players afterward.

Zach LaVine an option for Mavericks?

Bulls confident about keeping Zach LaVine

He offered that with a caveat though. “I’m just reporting what I was hearing at the Combine – and that is multiple people connected to other teams, agents, etc., the chatter at that Combine, the representation of that chatter is that Zach is very much in play,” Johnson said. “Now that said, the Bulls are still very confident in their ability to re-sign Zach LaVine. Michael Reinsdorf has said it. Arturas Karnisovas has said it. They still have the power to pay him more than any other franchise.”

NBA sources not buying Zach LaVine scuttle, expect him to re-sign with Bulls

The agents mentioned are those from Klutch Sports, which has star clients like LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Trae Young and, yes, LaVine’s Bulls teammate, Lonzo Ball. The latest round of chatter around LaVine likely has more to do with Klutch angling to make sure that LaVine keeps his old as the top Bulls star going forward. That’s likely to be the case without this wave of late-May drama, given that DeRozan turns 33 in August and is not likely to repeat the kind of season he just put forth, with a career-high in scoring (27.9 points) and the second-best shooting (50.4%) of his career. “It is still Zach’s team,” the NBA source said. “Klutch just wants to make sure everyone knows it.”

Zach LaVine undergoes surgery on left knee

Zach LaVine underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Chicago Bulls executives are in Los Angeles to attend various agency pro days in advance of next month’s NBA Draft and were in close contact with the two-time All-Star guard, who is expected to begin a short rehabilitation period shortly. In a release, the team termed the surgery “successful” and said LaVine is expected to make a full recovery.

Zach LaVine "very much in play" entering free agency

K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago joined the Mully & Haugh Show on Tuesday morning to discuss LaVine’s future. “The safe bet is still that Zach will return (to Chicago),” Johnson said. He offered that with a caveat though. “I’m just reporting what I was hearing at the Combine – and that is multiple people connected to other teams, agents, etc., the chatter at that Combine, the representation of that chatter is that Zach is very much in play,” Johnson said. “Now that said, the Bulls are still very confident in their ability to re-sign Zach LaVine. Michael Reinsdorf has said it. Arturas Karnisovas has said it. They still have the power to pay him more than any other franchise.”

Zach LaVine on Lakers: I've always been a big fan

Zach LaVine — who starred at UCLA before getting drafted #13 overall in 2014 — hit up Craig’s in West Hollywood with his wife, Hunter … and after chowing down on some grub, the cameras had to ask him about his future. The 2-time Slam Dunk champ initially played it cool … explaining his appearance shouldn’t be a big deal, considering he lives in L.A. When asked to give a message to Laker Nation, LaVine’s response is enough to give fans a glimmer of hope. “I’ve always been a big fan,” he said as he hopped in his Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon.

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

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.

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.

There is 'hope' that Zach LaVine can be lured away from Bulls in free agency

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.

Portland a potential landing spot for Zach LaVine?

Zach LaVine’s return may not be in the bag for the Chicago Bulls as the two-time All-Star approaches unrestricted free agency. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported at the 22:00 mark of his Hoop Collective podcast Tuesday that the initial impression around the NBA was that LaVine was “off the market.” Now, there isn’t as much certainty about him staying in Chicago. Windhorst added that the Portland Trail Blazers have “popped up” as a potential landing spot.

In the NBA, it’s rare for long-time friends to get a chance to play on the same team, and it is less likely that, if that does happen, both are star players. But it appears that San Antonio Spurs’ guard Dejounte Murray wants that to become a reality. A couple of days ago, Murray had fans in a frenzy when he tweeted a photoshopped image of Zach LaVine in a Spurs uniform. The image has since been deleted but not before Lavine caught wind of it. According to a Tweet from Jon Greenberg of The Athletic, LaVine stated Murray posting him in a Spurs uniform was him “just messing around.”

DeMar DeRozan on Zach LaVine: 'Max player, max talent, max everything'

That’s a lot of dough. And in the opinion of All-Star teammate DeMar DeRozan, LaVine is worth every penny. “Yeah. Max player, max talent, max everything,” DeRozan said when asked if LaVine is a max-worthy player after the Bulls’ season-ending loss to the Bucks Wednesday night. “He’s one of those players in this league that you don’t see too often. I tell him all the time how envious I am of the things he’s able to do. He deserves everything that’s coming to him for sure.”

Zach LaVine on future with Bulls: It's not about my contract, I want to go to the playoffs

How important is getting into that postseason environment with this group and making a deep run with these guys before your upcoming contract negotiations? Zach LaVine: For me, it’s not even about my contract. I’m a competitor. I want to go to the playoffs and play on the big stage. Contract, everything, that all comes. But I look at it day by day. You can’t get to April in a day. You’re gonna have to play and compete each and every day to get there, and then once the playoffs come, we gotta go do our thing. You know I’m really excited. I’m really excited to be on that stage, because I haven’t been there yet.

Zach LaVine on free agency: I should be getting what I deserve

The Bulls have quickly elevated to the top of the East, with shrewd trades and signings — and keeping LaVine as a rare holdover. This regime keeps its strategy a mystery, but Zach LaVine is making a case for a max contract — which he won’t definitively say but won’t deny, either. “I think we all get what we deserve at the level we play at, for our team and around the league. I think I stack up with everybody at that level,” he said. “We’ll let the chips fall. Is the [max] the goal? I don’t know if it’s the goal, but I should be getting what I deserve. I’ll let them tell me what that is and we’ll go from there.”

He’ll be a free agent in July — an unrestricted free agent. A big playoff run could erase any remaining doubts, if there are any. “Free agency is gonna be a big milestone for me,” LaVine told Yahoo Sports. “It’s my first time going into it really being [an] unrestricted free agent. I dealt with it being restricted before so it’s a whole new experience. I’m excited for the season with the Bulls. But you know, moving forward, it’s gonna be a whole new experience for me.”

That restricted free agency experience sticks with him. He’s not on the Michael Jordan scale of petty or the Scottie Pippen scale of delusion, but he quietly craves the validation. LaVine is eligible for a five-year deal around $200 million this summer if he re-signs with the Bulls — and higher if he makes an All-NBA team. He can get a four-year deal around $160 million if he outright signs with another team. “I remember everything now,” LaVine said, smiling. “I know it’s a different front office, a different time. But I’m gonna take it day by day and let my agent handle it. But I remember everything. It’s something — I always have a chip on my shoulder for multiple reasons.”

LaVine a lock to stay with the Bulls?

KC Johnson: I’d say every indication I’ve been given both internally from his side and the organization is this is a match made to move forward together. I don’t think you expend the draft capital this regime has doled out in the Vucevic trade and the DeRozan acquisition without doing everything in your power to appease your No. 1 player and to try and win now. We know the Bulls have the ability to pay him more than any other franchise. There’s also not a lot of cap space out there this summer. With the funky situations with Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving, are there some All-NBA spots up for grabs in the backcourt in the league? If he earns that distinction, he’s super-max eligible. There are a million reasons why I think he’s going to be here long-term. He has really embraced being the face of the franchise ever since the Jimmy Butler trade, even when they were bad. He’s always been front and center as the star of the team, always available media-wise, he’s a good representative of the franchise, he loves living in Chicago, he loves the history and legacy of the franchise.

That’s what matters now more than anything for LaVine — getting wins. Will victories influence him to want to stay with the Bulls or will he look to go elsewhere? Talk for another day. “I wouldn’t even be worried about my contract situation,’’ LaVine said. “I’m worried about Game 1 and seeing where it goes from there. When that time comes, we’ll see what happens and go from there, but I’m worried about the Bulls’ season right now.’’

Zach LaVine on future with the Bulls: At the end of the day, it's a business

Zach LaVine doesn't want to leave Chicago?

The Bulls’ offseason overhaul couldn’t have come at a better time, as Zach LaVine is on the final year of his contract with an extension yet to be signed. But if it were up to LaVine himself, he’s reportedly all-in on staying in the Windy City. That’s according to ESPN Chicago radio analyst David Kaplan, who’s heard from sources that the All-Star doesn’t want to go anywhere. Via ESPN 1000 FM: “He has told people that I know: ‘Hey man, if they want me here, I’m not going anywhere. I’m building this thing. I’m the first guy in the door. I wanna be part of this.’”

What is your take on the Zach LaVine FA rumors in 2022? How realistic is it for the Celtics financially and roster wise? Thanks, Jeff. Brian Robb: LaVine is a name that has been floated for a little bit as a potential target for Boston if Bradley Beal elects to stay put in Washington. His age and position do line up fairly well among Boston’s current group, however, there are some significant obstacles in any pursuit of the shooting guard during the next year.

A potential Celtics free agent target could be Chicago’s Zach LaVine, who is entering the final year of his contract. He will have to prove he can lead the Bulls to the playoffs before a contract extension. LaVine changed representation recently and signed with Klutch Sports, which is usually the move for players who want to maximize their free agent potential. LaVine, 26, just coming off helping Team USA to the gold medal, will ask for a maximum contract in the open market. The Olympic experience may have enhanced LaVine’s value because he was asked to be a three-and-D player, sparking the Americans with his full-court defense and ability to run the floor. In the case that Bradley Beal decides to stay in Washington, LaVine could be the Celtics’ No. 1 target. The Bulls, who added DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball in the offseason, have full intentions to be a factor in the Eastern Conference .

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.

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.

“That’s why them getting Vooch was a really big deal,” an Eastern Conference executive said. “Players want to get paid, just like we all do. But they also want to win, and guys like Zach have been around the block long enough to know they can’t win in this league by themselves. LeBron’s the best to do it, and he couldn’t win it all by himself. Even he needed help.” The exec added, “Them getting Vooch sent a clear message to Zach that yes, Chicago is serious about trying to put together a winner here and now.”

According to a source, LaVine is not only looking for All-Star respect, but financial respect when the time comes. The two sides could have inked a team-friendly three-year, $76-million deal before this season started, but moved on from it. What the organization has to ask themselves is do they want to commit $30-$35 million per year for a player that has elite scoring ability at the guard spot, but enough deficiencies in the rest of his game where he doesn’t translate into an alpha on a championship team?

Zach LaVine knows what you’ve been saying. He’s got Twitter and Instagram, too. He knows you’re hatin’ on his defense, his choice of shots, his money; oh, so much of it with the reported $78 million/four-year contract offer from the Sacramento Kings which the Bulls Saturday matched to retain the restricted free agent. Zach says he’s gotten flack like that before. And flown through it without a scratch. He will again, he promises. “People (are going) to put their own opinions on things, or everybody on social media, they try to judge you,” LaVine told reporters Sunday night in Las Vegas in his first comments since the contract with the Bulls became official. “I’m my hardest critic. There’s nothing that any of you (media) guys can say to me that I (don’t) take harder upon myself. I go back and critique my game every year. I’m used to people sleeping on me, and I’m also used to waking them up as well. I’m happy that I have this contract, and I’m happy that I have a little extra motivation to go out there and prove it to some people that don’t believe in me. At the end of the day, I believe in myself, I believe in my work, and I’m going to show the city of Chicago it’s a good choice and I’m here to stay. I’m going to be their guy, and I’m ready to do whatever to help this team get back to that (championship) spot.”

Sitting courtside at the Thomas & Mack Center before the Kings’ Las Vegas Summer League game against the Suns, Divac told the Tribune that LaVine, 23, has star potential that justified the lucrative offer and that he wasn’t concerned about a torn ACL that limited LaVine to 47 games with the Timberwolves in 2016-17 and 24 with the Bulls last season. “Zach is a very talented kid,” Divac said. “He works hard. I see him as one of the future elite shooting guards in this league. Before the injury, he showed a lot of progression. Now I believe he’s back where he was.”

Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports joined Chris Mannix on the Chris Mannix Show to begin discussing free agency and said the executives around the league largely expect the Magic to match any offer for Gordon — even a max offer sheet. “I think both teams are aware they need to go to max numbers for them,” Charania says about the impending free agency for Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine. “But the question is will they make them go get a sheet. The sentiment I’ve gotten is if Zach LaVine goes and gets a max, we have too much invested in them. Same with Aaron Gordon.”

One dicey topic remains: the pending contract negotiations with soon-to-be restricted free agent Zach LaVine. And Paxson wasn’t in a position to clear things up. “Well, the market dictates a lot and how things go,’’ Paxson said. “I think the market has tightened up a little bit the last couple of years since the spike. We obviously value Zach a lot, and we think he’s a part of our future, but he has the opportunity to explore things. “Gar will get with his agent at the appropriate time and begin discussions about that, and it will play out the way it will play out. But we think he fits the direction we’re going, and we have great faith in his ability that he’ll have a great summer in terms of his work and his improvement as a player, and we’ll see. It’s up in the air and not defined yet, but we’ll do it the way we feel is right, and we’ll have good communication with Zach and his agent.’’
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October 1, 2022 | 6:40 am EDT Update

Klay Thompson skipping both preseason games in Japan

 Klay Thompson will not play in either of the Golden State Warriors’ preseason games in Japan, coach Steve Kerr announced. Kerr said the decision was made out of an abundance of caution as the Warriors go through a condensed training camp. “Just feel more comfortable giving him a little more of a ramp up,” Kerr said ahead of the Warriors’ 96-87 win over the Washington Wizards on Friday. “He’s just not quite ready to play at this point just based on where, you know, we’re so early in camp. We just want to be safe and make sure he gets a good ramp up before he plays in games.”
“Just coming off the two years with the injuries, this is really unique to play a game after 3½ practices so we’re just being cautious and trying to do the smart thing,” Kerr said. Thompson was under a strict game restriction last season — starting under a minute restriction and never playing in back-to-back games — after missing two consecutive seasons with leg injuries.

Klay Thompson addresses 'mental block' during summer

Anthony Slater: Klay Thompson didn’t play pickup this summer. Called it a “mental block” he will eventually get over because of torn Achilles in summer ball. But that’s slowed his preseason ramp up. Called next week a “big week” as he revs back up for regular season. Here he is explaining it pic.twitter.com/0ZCCmWYFO1

LeBron James playing at least four preseason games?

James was asked after practice Friday how many preseason games he wants to participate in. “More than I played last year,” James said. “How many did I play last year? More than I played last year.” Last season, James played in three of the Lakers’ six preseason games. With a new coach in Darvin Ham, a new system and just six players returning from last season’s team, the plan for James playing preseason games is being worked out.
Ham said that they will “figure all of that out” in the coming days. “Obviously we have those type of things on our board and on our laundry list of things to get done,” Ham said. “But our focus has totally been on trying to establish a style of play on both sides of the ball, establish our principles and make sure we’re executing the basic foundation of who we are and what our identity will be. But definitely my coaching staff and I, we have had light discussions about what that’s going to look like, how many preseason games, how many minutes.”
Ham noted Nunn’s ability to score at all three levels, from three, to the mid-range, and at the rim, while praising his work defensively as well, showing that he can squeeze through pick and rolls, avoid screens and contest shots on the perimeter. It takes time for some players to learn how to play alongside a defensive magnet like LeBron, but that process has begun. “You deal with it by getting on the floor, getting in the game, logging minutes,” said LeBron. “You start to get more and more into the game, watching more and more film, more and more practices and it starts to come with time. I think that will continue to happen with the new guys we have this year.”
Cam Thomas had a promising rookie season in 2021-22, but his playing time evaporated when the Nets added Seth Curry and then Goran Dragic. If Thomas found minutes hard to come by down the stretch last season, he’s going to be facing an even more uphill climb to start his sophomore campaign. “We’ll see how it goes after training camp. But he clearly is on a veteran team with a lot of guys who can play, have had a lot of success,” Nets coach Steve Nash admitted. “We know Cam’s talented, and just trying to continue to develop him and see if he can keep pushing and getting better at certain things that’ll help him get minutes.