Zach LaVine Re-Signed With the Chicago Bulls

Zach Lavine
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Zach LaVine re-signed with the Chicago Bulls today. The two sides agreed to a five-year contract (with a player option in year 5) worth $215 million, or $43 million per season. This contract ties him down through the 2026 season at the very least.

Zach LaVine Re-Signed with the Chicago Bulls

LaVine has earned NBA stardom when that was far from guaranteed. He was originally drafted in the first round with the 14th overall pick of the 2014 NBA draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. LaVine came off the bench during his lone season at UCLA, but actually started in 40 of his 77 games played his rookie season. He teamed with Andrew Wiggins to form a solid young core in Minnesota, and when the Wolves drafted Karl-Anthony Towns no. 1 overall in the 2015 draft, a bright future seemed on the horizon.

Unfortunately, LaVine tore his ACL during the 2017 season, and he was subsequently packaged with Lauri Markannan and Kris Dunn in a trade with Chicago for Jimmy Butler. He spent four years toiling away on lottery teams in Chicago before the DeMar DeRozan trade boosted the Bulls into the playoffs last season. LaVine has averaged 19.8 points, 3.9 assists, and 2.9 rebounds playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Chicago Bulls over his eight-year NBA career. 

Last season he scored 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.5 assists for the Chicago Bulls. LaVine earned his second straight All-Star nod as a reserve and teamed with DeRozan to form a formidable scoring duo on the wing. Injuries to Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, and LaVine himself caused Chicago to lose momentum before limping to a 4-1 first-round series defeat against the Bucks.

What This Means for the Future

There’s a strong argument that LaVine is the best player available in this free agency period. He’s the youngest available superstar at only 27, and his peers James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Bradley Beal all have injury or availability questions.  LaVine is a face of the NBA as a two-time All-Star with multiple endorsement deals. The last frontier in his career is winning. Last season’s first-round exit was the first playoff appearance of his career, and he’ll be looking to shrug off his injury issues to lead his team deeper into the postseason. 

LaVine should age well over the next five years of this new contract with the Bulls. LaVine has quietly become one of the best shooters in the NBA after his dunk contest exploits. He shot just under 42% from on 8.2 attempts per game in 2020-21 and followed that up by making 38.9% of his 7.1 attempts last season. LaVine did have surgery on his left knee this offseason, and that’s the same knee in which he tore his ACL. He came back a much better player after that injury, though. At just 27, it’s reasonable to expect him to recover fully before next season.