The downside of the Bulls having so much cap space is that they will be included in various trade rumors. The good news for the Bulls is that they are one of view teams with said cap flexibility.
That means that signing Zach Lavine to a reasonable contract remained a viable option. That was until the Sacramento Kings got involved.
The Sacramento Kings are reportedly interested in making a push to sign Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine. The former slam dunk champion can receive an offer sheet as a restricted free agent starting July 1.
The Bulls sent a qualifying offer to LaVine on Thursday, according to Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago.
LaVine averaged 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists while shooting just 38.3 percent from the field last year. He was to be the key piece of the Jimmy Butler trade to Minnesota along with Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen.
The Bulls front office now seems to be concerned with obtaining pieces to fit around Markkanen. He had a stellar rookie showing and played with a higher level of consistency than Lavine. It doesn’t hurt that he flashed star potential averaging 15.2 points, and 7.5 rebounds.
Yes Lavine was coming back from a blown ACL, but even Lauri’s PER was higher than Lavine’s.
Are the Bulls as sold on Lavine as he is of himself?
Lavine didn’t mince words when asked whether he was deserving of a max-level contract extension.
He told reporters, “You are what you’re worth. Obviously, you can’t say no to getting one. I see myself being an elite player in this league. I’m going to work for that every day until I get there.”
Through 24 games last season after recovering from a torn ACL Lavine showed flashes of the potential star qualities that made him so attractive to the Bulls.
Don’t forget that just 2 years ago he averaged 18.9 points and shot 45.9 percent with the Wolves.
It would be hard pressed to imagine Lavine dodging the good faith the Bulls have shown him in his recovery process for Sacramento.
But if the Kings offer him a Kings ransom, such a deal could prove difficult for him to turn down.
It would also place the Bulls in a tough position moving forward.
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