Chicago Bulls: Does Zach LaVine really deserve a max contract?

There are numerous guards in the 2018 draft that could join the Chicago Bulls and replace Zach LaVine, so does he really deserve a max contract?

There is no doubt Zach LaVine is part of the Bulls blueprint for their future and they won’t jeopardize losing his potential for the coming seasons.

Zach LaVine played 24 games with the Chicago Bulls in the 2017-18 NBA after returning from an ACL injury. Lavine averaged 16.7 points per game and 3.9 rebounds per game on 38.3 percent shooting from the field. He flashed his potential this year for the Bulls with some clutch performances and displays of athleticism.

In his three seasons in Minnesota, the UCLA standout averaged 14.3 ppg on 48.2 percent shooting. LaVine is an important building block for the Bulls, however, his ACL injury is his first major injury in his basketball career and may become a nagging problem for him. It may not be a problem that lingers but Bulls fans are very sensitive when it comes to ACL injuries – and for good reason. After all the heartbreak that went along with the Derrick Rose saga, it’s tough to not have the worst case scenario in mind with LaVine.

Many believe letting Zach LaVine walk would be smart for the Bulls. His injury was the reason his bounce and explosiveness this year were not nearly as electrifying as they used to be. Letting LaVine walk would free up cap space and allow the Bulls to have enough cap room to sign some major contracts from the loaded 2018 free agency class. Could they draft a shooting guard and then make a run at Clint Capela? DeAndre Jordan? DeMarcus Cousins?

These players joining the Chicago Bulls could easily propel the Bulls out of the tank-a-thon at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Or, they could make a run for Paul George to bring a new era to Chicago that could lead to many playoff appearances. Gar Forman and John Paxson must salivate at potentially being able to bring stars into the Windy City.

Zach LaVine is worth the max

The upside for Zach LaVine? Even though he might cost quite a bit of money, he will not cost nearly as much as many of these other stars and is younger than most of them, too.

Also, maybe it’s time for Bulls fans to get over their fears of torn ACL’s. I mean look at this play:

His athleticism looks pretty good from my angle.

Returning from an ACL injury is not only a year-long injury. It may take a few seasons to return to normal ways and it looks like LaVine is ready to put the work in according to his workout videos that he’s been posting on social media.

With all that being said, regardless of what others believe, keeping LaVine should be a priority for the Bulls – even if it means giving him the max. Letting LaVine walk would make the Bulls front office lose even more support than they already have. This will also speed up their rebuilding process that is nearly over. Keeping the young core, which is headed by Zach LaVine, and getting the 2018 draft right, will allow the Bulls to return to their winning ways.