Apparently, people around the association aren’t sold on the rumors of Zach LaVine leaving the Chicago Bulls this summer.
Sean Deveney of Heavy.com described the ongoing LaVine free agency saga as a “a lot of smoke, but no fire” scenario, further stating that many league sources are still expecting that the All-star swingman will stay in the Windy City.
“Business as usual,” one Eastern Conference general manager said. “The Bulls can give him more money. They can give him a chance to go to the playoffs every year. If he is not the No. 1 option, he is 1A and that is going to be the case in just about any place he goes if he is serious about leaving. Portland is out there as a possibility for him, and if he leaves, that is the only place where it would make any sense. But would he shoot more than Damian Lillard there? Of course not. It’s a lateral move, or even a step down a bit.”
“A lot of this is coming from the agents, where they want to not only get him paid but raise his profile at the same time,” one league source told Heavy.com. “That is their M.O. The more drama in the process, the better. No one was talking about Zach. Now everyone is. Mission accomplished.”
LaVine has been thrown out frequently in the NBA’s rumor circles from the previous days. Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report wrote that the high-scoring guard might haven’t been thrilled to be the Bulls’ second paddle behind DeMar DeRozan. Meanwhile, TMZ caught footage of him saying that he’ll always be a big fan of the Los Angeles Lakers.
As such, LaVine remains focused on signing the paycheck he thinks he deserves – an idea that he’s been vocal all year long. If the Bulls are willing enough, they can land a huge extended partnership worth $212.3 million in five years.