The Wolf of the Windy City is returning. After just under 24 hours from the start of free agency, Zach LaVine remains with the Chicago Bulls on a new five-year $215 million contract.
Zach had this to say when the news broke of him signing his deal.
Shams Charania of The Athletic first reported the contract.
NBA All-Star Zach LaVine has agreed to a five-year, $215.2 million maximum contract to return to the Chicago Bulls, with a player option in Year 5, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul told @TheAthletic @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2022
This contract is the largest in the organization’s history but also the largest one ever shelled out by owner Jerry Reinsdorf. Players such as Michael Jordan, Derrick Rose, and Jimmy Butler were the previous highest however none of them broke the $100 million barriers.
There was speculation prior to free agency as to whether LaVine would entertain other offers however given the timing of the deal it is unlikely that was the case.
Zach IS The Franchise
Like all other max contracts across the NBA, this contract is a statement for Zach LaVine. It says that he was one of the elites in the league and will have the type of pull that stars have around the league.
Since arriving with the Bulls back in 2017, LaVine has shown consistent improvement which culminated in his first All-Star appearance two seasons ago. LaVine is now a two-time All-Star and is only continuing his ascension as a star in the league.
Despite some injury setbacks this past season, the team saw a steady incline as well. LaVine averaged 24.4 points per game this past season after a career-high 27.7 points the previous season.
Pairing Zach With Players
Getting LaVine back with the team was the biggest offseason move the Bulls needed to make and now that it’s out of the way, the question becomes, “how do you fill out the roster?”
Wing depth was one of the other roster holes that needed to be addressed this offseason and with the Bulls seemingly striking out on Danilo Gallinari, that question remains to be answered.
LaVine is a player that works best when he has floor spacing so getting him more shooters across the floor is going to be huge for the Bulls. As a team the previous season, the Bulls only shot 28.8 percent from 3.
LaVine himself shot close to 39 percent from 3 this past season at 38.9 percent. The previous season was even more efficient. LaVine shot the three-ball at a 42 percent clip.
The roster will begin to fill out and players such as Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, and Patrick Williams coming back fully healthy. That will allow for Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley to truly start to evaluate the direction of the franchise moving forward.
Granted, there are still moves to be made and possible league-altering moves still in the works however this was the first step in maintaining relevance as a team.