In case you haven’t heard, Zach LaVine got paid this summer as the Chicago Bulls signed him to a $215.2 million maximum five-year contract. On Monday, the two-time All-Star spoke with the media about his deal, the Bulls’ offseason, and his upcoming journey into fatherhood.
Here are some of the highlights:
LaVine, the 18-Hour Free Agent
Most of LaVine’s media session focused on his new contract with the Bulls. Perhaps the most telling information LaVine gave was that he only met with the Chicago Bulls during free agency. There was some discomfort experienced by Bulls fans leading up to this offseason because of reports stating LaVine wanted to enjoy his first time being an unrestricted free agent.
Instead, LaVine was a free agent for about a day before re-upping with Chicago on his max contract. LaVine gave an inside look into how that came to be, and, essentially, it came down to him wanting to be here and Arturas Karsinovas and Marc Eversley being true to their word.
According to LaVine, Karsinovas and Eversley came to him right at the start of free agency and offered him everything for which he asked. That is exactly what both executives said they were going to do, and they did it. Lavine stated that, once they brought him everything he wanted, why would he look at other teams? Perhaps most telling was LaVine’s commitment to the city of Chicago.
He put it plainly: “My heart was in Chicago.”
Chicago’s Continuity and Offseason
If you follow the Chicago Bulls, you have most likely heard the word ‘continuity’ roughly a billion times this offseason. Zach LaVine was asked about the fact that Chicago will essentially be running it back in 2022-23. He gave the answers you’d expect from the face of a franchise. Lavine spoke of the need for the team to stay healthy because “you want to see a full roster and a full team all the way through.”
When asked about whether or not the Bulls are relying on third-year forward Patrick Williams to take a big step forward, LaVine responded that every player on the team needs to take a next step. He said the team’s goal is to win a championship and that they can compete with the other top teams in the East if they can put two halves of the season together as they played for the first half of last season.
LaVine also commented on Chicago’s offseason moves outside of his re-signing. He called Goran Dragic and Andre Drummond key additions. Moreover, when speaking about the offseason as a whole, he said that the Bulls did what other teams did: try to fill gaps.
While he didn’t ooze confidence about Chicago’s moves, he said what he was supposed to say (though saying nothing more is telling in and of itself.) For what it’s worth, LaVine said he’s already been in touch with Drummond, Dragic, and rookie Dalen Terry. He spoke about hopefully training with Drummond this offseason and Terry’s competitiveness.
Speaking of the offseason, LaVine had surgery on his knee. Naturally, that came up, and LaVine’s answers were encouraging. He said his knee is feeling really good. He has been rehabbing, working out, playing, and lifting, and he feels great so far.
LaVine the Father
LaVine and his long-time partner, Hunter Mar, announced recently that they are expecting a child. He was, perhaps, most excited when the topic came up.
In fact, LaVine said that having a child and being a father is “bigger than basketball; bigger than everything.” He stated that he is extremely excited and looking forward to taking on the challenge. When talking about being a father, LaVine referenced how special his relationship is with his own dad and how he wants to have a similar bond with his own child.
Check out Zach LaVine’s full press conference below:
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