Zach LaVine may have lost his starting job to Kris Dunn, but the 23-year-old shooting guard did have a breakout season that saw him average 18.7 points per game on 45.6 percent shooting. For the Bulls, that’s much better than the production of Marquis Teague and Jose Calderon, who combined to average just 15.6 points per game last season. Now, LaVine is set to be the go-to guy for the Bulls, and the team wants him to take their franchise to the next level. The problem? They don’t have the cap room to sign him to a max contract, and at $20 million a year he’ll be the highest-paid player in franchise history.

After a 2017-18 season in which he was a leading scorer for both the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Chicago Bulls, Zach LaVine will be taking his game to the Bulls next season. But just how much will he be relied upon in his new home? And what will that mean for the team in the short-term?

The story of the Chicago Bulls’ draft process in 2016 will be just about as interesting as Zach LaVine’s career with the team. After ending the season with a win, the Bulls had their pick in the draft. With the 20th pick, they selected LaVine, a 6’6″ point guard who graduated from UCLA in three years and became the first player in school history to earn First Team All-Pac-12 honors three years in a row. But after developing into a solid NBA prospect, LaVine was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the deal that sent Derrick Rose to Chicago. With a young core that includes LaVine, Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Ricky Rubio, the Bulls have some interesting

Chicago Bulls defenseman Zach LaVine is out of the playoffs again. This will give him even more time to think about his NBA future without distractions, which is especially important now that he is eligible for a contract extension. Ending his contract year and trying to enter the open market means giving up $104 million over four years that the Bulls could offer this summer. LaVine will be able to accomplish much more in free agency, but the $131 million figure is in front of him, and if….

Zach LaVine has really grown up this season

word-image-12004 word-image-12005 The Chicago Bulls have gotten better this year with the help of Zach LaVine, who has been playing for seven years and whose numbers have gone up in every area. | Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images After ten playoffs in eleven years, the Chicago Bulls faltered in the 2015/16 season and missed the postseason despite a 42-20 record. The next season they played around .500, didn’t get past the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, and haven’t been back since. The rebuild under coach Billy Donovan looked somewhat promising this season, but Chicago finished with a 31-41 record despite LaVine’s best performance as a player. LaVine has averaged 27.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.9 assists in his career. He played an ambitious 35.1 minutes per game and recorded his best field goal percentage (50.7) and three-point shooting percentage (41.9). That was enough for LaVine to earn an NBA All-Star Game berth, the first in his seven-year career since joining the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2014. However, this mid-season price means far less than what he could get in the coming weeks.

LaVine can expect a spot on theAll-NBA team.

. According to Spotrac.com, LaVine has one year and $19.5 million remaining on his contract. The Bulls can currently offer $104 million over four years, a 33.3 percent increase over the previous contract. That’s peanuts compared to the opportunities that await LaVine if the coaches select him to the All-NBA team. According to the salary page, if the Bulls are on the first, second or third team, they can add a fifth year to their contract extension offer. More importantly, the total cost will increase to $235 million. Of course, the Bulls don’t have to make a total bid of $235 million. At the same time, they would have to significantly increase the $104 million amount if LaVine is not to terminate his current contract and leave.

LaVine likely won’t have interest in signing this summer

Most regular season games without a playoff appearance this postseason: 531 Alex Len 450 Elfrid Payton 446 Julius Randle 411 Zach LaVine 409 Devin Booker 402 Willie Cowley-Stein 387 Buddy Hield 313 Brandon Ingram 263 De’Aaron Fox 259 Yogi Ferrell – Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) May 22, 2021 As the league’s new reigning leader in non-offensive games played – Alex Len, Elfrid Payton and Julius Randle all left that list this month – LaVine already has reason to consider leaving. He knows that an applicant would like to have him for the 2022-23 season. LaVine has taken a step forward this season, but crucial All-NBA team recognition on the soon-to-be ballot is questionable for a player who didn’t make the playoffs. So Chicago loses its best chance – a ridiculous pay raise – to keep him, and LaVine forfeits $104 million. Second best way to keep it? From an underdog to a playoff team. I would love to go out there and play and show what I can do on a bigger stage, he said, according to NBC Sports. I’m gonna go. But we just have to work at it. Spotrac.com predicts Chicago will finish third in the league in free agency this season. The Bulls would do well to find those things to help LaVine take them to the playoffs next spring. All statistics are from Basketball Reference. COMPARED TO: Luka Doncic has $33.5 million at stake for an NBAscoreIn a few days, Zach LaVine will be an NBA All-Star for the fourth straight season. But there is a big difference between 2016-17 and the other three years. All three of his All-Star Games came with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but this year he’s with the Chicago Bulls, whose young core just finished their best season in franchise history.. Read more about when will zach lavine return and let us know what you think.

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