Zach LaVine could surprise everybody next year if he decides to test the water of free agency. He’s been for four years with the Chicago Bulls now but it seems like his tenure with the 6-time NBA champions could come to an end in the summer of 2022.
LaVine is set to become a free agent next year and rumors around the league suggest he won’t accept the Bulls offer to extend his contract to try to find a new destination in 2022. He could get a four-year, $104,832,000 contract extension this offseason but the guard is going for more and will try his luck next year.
Convincing Zach LaVine the Bulls are building a playoff contender is important when you consider the 26-year-old's "big focus" coming into the season was to get Chicago into the playoffs.
That's why rival executives anticipate the Bulls will try to lock up LaVine with a contract extension (he will make $19.5 million this season and next) but know he'll likely let his deal lapse, become an unrestricted free agent and sign what will be a more lucrative multiyear max pact.
The only question among rival executives is whether his next deal will be with Chicago.
LaVine is one of the most talented scorers in the league right now and he won’t miss suitors if he hit free agency and even next year, his last under the current deal. The Bulls recently traded for Nikola Jokic to team up with the shooting guard and so far things haven’t clicked for them.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons that pushed LaVine to think about this possibility. He has been the best player on the team since he landed in 2017 and if he’s unable to win in the Windy City, it’s time to look for a new team with bigger expectations.