After being the first transaction announced when free agency opened last Monday, we finally know the details of Lonzo Ball’s contract.
Initially announced as a four-year, $85 million contract, we learned the Chicago Bulls actually inked Ball for $5 million less, per Spotrac’s Keith Smith. The fourth year of Ball’s deal – which is set to be his biggest single-season haul at roughly $21.4 million – is also said to be a player option.
Lonzo Ball’s four-year deal in a S&T to the Chicago Bulls came in slightly less than was reported:
Final season is a player option. $1M in unlikely bonus money per season for Ball.@spotrac
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) August 10, 2021
The good is that the Bulls have inked Ball to a $20 million AAV, which actually checks in at the floor value many speculated he would get this offseason. My expectation was always that Ball would get around $22 million, which ended up being right around where The Athletic’s John Hollinger put Ball’s value for next season in his BORD$ projections. In fact, Hollinger said he could see Ball getting as much as $25 million per season earlier this summer.
The bad news is that Chicago will not have full control of Ball for all four seasons, as he has the option to look elsewhere after the third year. But leaving him this kind of flexibility is part of doing business. Also, if all goes according to plan, the Bulls should not be worried about Ball signing a fresh contract.
Another note about Ball’s player option is that it could put him on the same track as DeMar DeRozan. The veteran wing inked an $85 million deal that is also set to expire in the 2024 offseason.
All in all, when it comes to the cash, it just feels even more surprising the front office was able to get Ball on this $80 million deal, especially considering the reported interest in the market place. I guess it is just another reason to tip your hat to this new front office. What a summer!
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