Fresh off of a busy trade deadline that included acquiring All-Star center Nikola Vucevic, the other Chicago Bulls’ All-Star is making headlines for two reasons. Clearly excited by the moves the front office made at the trade deadline, Zach LaVine expressed his desire to stay in Chicago for the long-term.
After this season, LaVine has just one year remaining on the four-year, $78 million contract he signed back in 2018. At the time, the Sacramento Kings were the team that actually signed him to that deal. However, as a restricted free agent, the Bulls had the right to match the deal, and they did so. Looking back, the Bulls got LaVine on a steal of a contract, so it is likely the first-time All-Star will be looking for a significant pay raise come 2022.
Vucevic Move Shows Commitment to Winning
The fact that LaVine expressly pointed out that the Vucevic move means that Chicago will be more attractive to other free agents is key here. LaVine wants to win. He has never experienced meaningful, winning basketball in the NBA, and he is entering his prime. It would be justifiable if LaVine wanted to make a move to a team better set up to win now when he hits unrestricted free agency for the first time. Instead, the front office acquiring Vucevic means the Bulls are one of those teams that can attract a free agent with serious competitive aspirations. As a result, LaVine’s interest in sticking around shot up.
Watching LaVine and Vucevic Together Might Have to Wait
Meanwhile, news also dropped that LaVine is dealing with a right ankle sprain. He is questionable for Saturday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs.
As excited as fans must have been to watch LaVine and Vucevic take the floor together, they may have to wait. LaVine’s ankle sprain does not sound serious, but it still means he may be sitting out Saturday as a precaution. Fear not, Bulls fans; whether it is Saturday in San Antonio or Monday against the Golden State Warriors, you’ll see Chicago’s two All-Stars together on the floor in the near future. And from the sound of things, you might be seeing LaVine wearing a Bulls uniform for years to come.