A recent report from Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times shared that Zach LaVine might be willing to give the Chicago Bulls a discount on his next contract in hopes of building a more competitive team.
The possibility of that is not off the table, but when LaVine was asked about grabbing his bag during his end-of-season press conference, he wasn’t shy about saying that he plans to get what he is worth.
“I try to let my performance obviously on the court dictate what I get paid. I think everybody wants to get paid what they’re worth, and when my time comes, I definitely will get that. I think with different situations with different people taking less money or taking the max, it’s a business at the end of the day. I definitely want what I deserve, and whatever that is, I’ll have it coming to me.”
Zach LaVine’s stat line from this season screams max-player. The guard averaged a ridiculous 27.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.9 assists on 50.7 percent shooting from the field and 41.9 percent from downtown. Likewise, his 60.1 percent effective field goal percentage ranked in the 91st percentile, per Cleaning the Glass. All of those numbers check-in as a career-high.
LaVine has one season left on his preexisting contract where he is set to make $19.5 million, which is an absolute steal of a price for the Bulls when we consider his production. Chicago can begin to discuss contract extensions with him in the coming month, but the problem is that normal max extensions are made by multiplying the final season of a player’s salary by 120 percent. Like we said, that $19.5 million is far under LaVine paygrade, thus an extension based on that number would be the same. On the other hand, if LaVine waits for his current contract to expire in 2022, he can receive a max contract that is worth 30 percent of the salary cap.
There is a way for the Bulls to renegotiate LaVine’s current contract this offseason to reach the max-level money he can make in one year from now, which you can read more about here. However, taking this approach would eat into the Bulls cap space this season, which could hurt the team’s ability to add impact talent (something LaVine likely wants).
If LaVine wants to grab whatever he can get (which makes sense) while also finally winning on a more consistent basis, then it makes the most sense for him to just wait until the next offseason. And he sure does sound ready to do just that.
“It’s something that we’re going to have to talk about moving forward. Obviously, with the trade, it made us a lot better. I love it. I love it here in Chicago … for me personally I let that stuff handle when it comes by. I don’t think too far into the future about it. I don’t stress about it either. I try to let my game do the talking. But also try to worry about the things I haven’t accomplished yet, like winning.”
Check out his full press conference below:
LIVE – End of Season: Zach LaVine Press Conference https://t.co/ofdjQS3xVC
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) May 17, 2021