Zach LaVine’s Free Agency Message Was Not Encouraging

Zach LaVine (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Zach LaVine (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

With the Chicago Bulls‘ injury-ridden season now officially over, there will be plenty of eyes on what the team will be doing this summer. The biggest point of interest will be Zach LaVine, who’s considered by many as the biggest unrestricted free agent name on the market this summer.

Facing offseason knee surgery yet coming off of two straight All-Star seasons, it’s tough to know for sure what kind of deal would make sense for both sides if they want to remain in business.

Ideally for LaVine, he’d get the full five-year, $212 max contract the Bulls could offer him to keep him for good. But questions about his durability are rightfully being asked, with ESPN’s Bobby Marks even saying he’d fall out of his chair if that’s what Chicago offers him.

Still, he’s a believer that the two sides can work something out that’s a win-win. Still, LaVine’s tone when initially asked about his pending free agency makes it sound like that’s not a done deal.

Zach LaVine’s message didn’t have an encouraging tone

I’m actually kind of surprised the Chicago Bulls themselves tweeted this full quote out, to be honest. I mean, it’s not necessarily saying LaVine is done with Chicago, but there are a few red flags if you really look into his wording.

“I hope the city understands how much I care about the Bulls” almost sounds like something you say in a breakup. And “I’m going into everything open-minded” isn’t even being subtle. It’s clear he’s going to weigh all of his options, and there will probably be at least a few.

Bobby Marks notes in his offseason Bulls breakdown (subscription required) that five teams can currently free up the $36.6 million to offer LaVine a max contract — the Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs, and Portland Trail Blazers. That list could grow if some other teams make moves to free up more cap space.

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Of course, I could be reading too much into this. After all, you can’t really tell tone from reading a quote. Only Zach himself knows what he’ll want to do this summer, and he probably isn’t even sure yet himself.