Zach LaVine’s time with the Chicago Bulls is something that one Bulls insider points out could conclude before the end of his current contract.
K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago stated on the “Bulls Talk Podcast” (around the 33:30 mark) that there’s leaguewide skepticism that LaVine will remain with the team.
“When we were talking at the start of this episode about the leaguewide speculation of the Big 3, most of the speculation is centered on him,” said Johnson of LaVine. “There is quite a bit of skepticism throughout the league that the Bulls and LaVine are gonna finish this five-year marriage that they entered with that max contract.”
LaVine was originally drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 13th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. After spending three seasons with them, he was dealt to the Bulls as part of the blockbuster deal that sent Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves.
In his six seasons with the Bulls, the 28-year-old LaVine has developed into a consistent scorer who can also dish out assists and contribute on the boards. Over that span of time, he’s averaged 24.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.
The “Big 3” referenced by Johnson consists of LaVine, 33-year-old DeMar DeRozan and 32-year-old Nikola Vucevic, who is set to hit free agency this offseason.
LaVine’s solid production earned him a max deal last year worth $215.2 million. He’s presently locked in with the team through at least the 2025-26 season and has a player option that would pay him just under $49 million for the 2026-27 campaign.
However, the Bulls have made little postseason noise during LaVine’s tenure. That playoff experience consists of a five-game playoff series loss against the Milwaukee Bucks last season, with the team coming up short in the play-in portion this year.
LaVine’s uncertain future with the Bulls is something that could create more reflection about his acquisition. That’s because in giving up Butler, the Bulls dispatched a player who has the Miami Heat on the verge of their second NBA Finals appearance in four seasons.
The Bulls, meanwhile, haven’t made the NBA Finals since the Michael Jordan era.
Once the 2023 NBA Finals conclude, talk of potential trades and signings around the league will pick up. Whether LaVine does end up elsewhere is a question that will be answered in the future.