Chicago Bulls: Zach LaVine makes bold statement about contract

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

After coming up just short of the play-in tournament, Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine held an end-of-season presser just as every player does.

The year may not have ended the way the Bulls guard wanted it to, but there is certainly reason to be hopeful going forward. After all, the Bulls went out and dealt for All Star big man Nikola Vucevic, and the duo seemed to really enjoy playing together.

If it wasn’t for LaVine having to sit out a couple of weeks due to health protocols, the Bulls likely would have been right there in the postseason mix. Unfortunately, the Bulls fell to the 11th spot in the East and headed for an early offseason.

In his presser, LaVine was asked about his future with the Bulls. Specifically, LaVine was asked about an extension.

Zach LaVine sounded like a man on a mission for a maximum contract extension.

When LaVine responded to reporters, it was pretty clear what his desire would be this offseason — or maybe next. His response included acknowledging the nature of the business and allowing his agent to take care of these things, but one particular statement stood out above the rest.

"”I definitely want what I deserve.”"

LaVine is entering the last year of a 4-year contract he signed with the Bulls which paid him an annual average of $19.5 million per year — a contract that now looks like an absolute steal.

If he signed an extension this offseason, his max salary could jump to over $23.4 million this coming year and go all the way up to $29 million in year four. But, according to the Sun Times, if LaVine waited until next offseason, he could be making an annual average of $39 million.

LaVine said all the right things in his presser and continued to reiterate his love for Chicago, even bringing up the trade for Vucevic and stating that he loved the move. It’s clear he was happy to see the organization finally do something big to try and win.

He also stated that he’s planning to work out with Coby White and Patrick Williams this summer, proving his commitment to his teammates.

But, despite his love for Chicago, he’s right. It is a business, and it’s tough to disagree with him in regards to what he deserves. His improvement over the past couple of seasons absolutely qualifies him for a significant raise.

Posting 27.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game while shooting career-highs in both three-point percentage (41.9) and from the floor overall (50.7) should be more than enough to convince Arturas Karnisovas to get an extension done right now.

The Bulls should do everything they can to extend LaVine this summer before his price tag goes way up next year. LaVine may very well decide to wait, as he could have had the summer of 2022 on his mind for a while now. It’d be tough to argue with him, as that $39 million salary is a whole lot more than what he could get this year.

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Regardless, the Bulls have to do what they can to keep him around. They haven’t always done a great job keeping stars in town, and LaVine definitely deserves it.