Chicago Bulls, Zach LaVine agree to 5-year, $215M max contract extension

The Chicago Bulls and Zach LaVine have agreed to a five-year contract extension for a maximum of $215 million, Klutch Sports announced on Friday.

The 27-year-old LaVine blossomed into a two-time All-Star in Chicago, where he arrived in the industry that sent Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2017 and — along with DeMar DeRozan — the cornerstone of Chicago’s return was the Eastern Conference playoffs for the first time in five years last season.

It was also the first time in LaVine’s career that he reached the postseason.

Now he and the Bulls will be looking to continue that success going forward, thanks to the two sides sitting down and negotiating a maximum contract extension to keep LaVine in Chicago in his prime.

Since joining the Bulls in the Butler trade in 2017, LaVine has blossomed into a great offensive power at every level. He has averaged at least 23.7 points per game in each of the last four seasons for the past four seasons while being both a high volume 3-point shooter and quality percentage shooter in addition to his explosiveness running to the brim consistency at the free-throw line (at least five tries and over 80% shooting over the last four seasons) and the ability to create for others (at least four assists per game).

Last season — after winning a gold medal with Team USA in Tokyo last summer — LaVine averaged 24.4 points, 4.5 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game while still producing 47.6% from the field and 38.9% shooting from 3-point range was hampered by a left knee injury that required surgery shortly after the end of the season.

LaVine suffered a cruciate ligament tear in the same left knee in 2017 before being traded to Chicago later that same year alongside No. 7 in that year’s draft, who became Lauri Markkanen and guard Kris Dunn.

Still, LaVine’s growth since arriving with the Bulls has resulted in him making an All-Star appearance in each of the last two seasons.

And LaVine’s signing of a new deal is the culmination of a multi-year effort by Arturas Karnisovas, the team’s executive vice president of basketball operations, to build a team around LaVine good enough to make Chicago a factor in the East again — and to do so convince the star to stay with Chicago.

As a result, the bulls have been busy this past spring and summer. They acquired DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic and Lonzo Ball via Trades and Alex Caruso in free agency and hired former Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan to coach the team.

The sum of those moves propelled Chicago to the top of the Eastern Conference for much of last season before a series of injuries — most notably to Ball, Caruso and sophomore Patrick Williams — dropped the Bulls in the standings. They eventually entered the playoffs as a 6-seed, losing in five games to the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the East Playoffs.

ESPN’s Jamal Collier contributed to this report.

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/34179827/chicago-bulls-zach-lavine-agree-5-year-215m-max-contract-extension-agent-tells-espn Chicago Bulls, Zach LaVine agree to 5-year, $215M max contract extension

Emma Bowman

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