Stop me if you heard this one before: A team might be interested in Zach LaVine!
According to the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn, the Boston Celtics could look to enter the LaVine sweepstakes next offseason.
A potential Celtics free agent target could be Chicago’s Zach LaVine, who is entering the final year of his contract. He will have to prove he can lead the Bulls to the playoffs before a contract extension. LaVine changed representation recently and signed with Klutch Sports, which is usually the move for players who want to maximize their free agent potential. LaVine, 26, just coming off helping Team USA to the gold medal, will ask for a maximum contract in the open market … In the case that Bradley Beal decides to stay in Washington, LaVine could be the Celtics’ No. 1 target.
Look, I don’t want to take any of this too lightly, but my current concern for a LaVine departure is pretty darn low. As we have discussed before, speculation and rumors around LaVine’s future in Chicago should be expected. While I believe (1) this new front office fully plans to keep him in town and (2) LaVine is completely interested in being the face of the franchise, he will be an unrestricted free agent next summer. In fact, behind potentially Bradley Beal (who has a player option in 2022), LaVine can be considered the 2nd-best free agent on the board. The lack of a contract beyond this season gives opposing teams an ounce of hope they can pry him away.
I have to imagine these front offices still understand their chances are slim, however. Sure, Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley may have decided not to try to reconstruct his contract for an extension this summer, but we have to remember LaVine can make the most possible money on a contract offered in 2022. Not to mention, he clearly understood this was a strong opportunity to bolster the roster, as reports have already surfaced that he played an active role in recruiting this offseason’s talent to Chicago.
We also can not forget that the Celtics – much like the Knicks – have seemed to express interest in virtually every single free agent and his mother over the last handful of years. Not to mention, you have to consider the motivation for these sort of rumors. Leverage is not something to which LaVine (or, rather, his new representation), is unaware. And the greater the perceived interest, the better the market. Real or not.
So, Boston, get in line behind all the other teams who have an eye on LaVine!
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) September 1, 2021