On Thursday morning, K.C. Johnson stated that the Sacramento Kings may be interested in Zach LaVine.
One team consistently mentioned as strongly considering a run at Zach LaVine in restricted free agency: The Kings.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) June 28, 2018
The Sacramento Kings are one of the few teams that will have significant cap-space this offseason.
Our Vincent Goodwill reported that the Bulls have in fact offered LaVine a qualifying offer, so the ball is now in his court.
The Bulls have officially sent qualifying offers to Zach LaVine in addition to David Nwaba and Ryan Arcidiacono, making them restricted free agents— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) June 28, 2018
In a seperate article, Johnson also went on to talk about the Bulls strategy with RFAs: "The Bulls’ history with restricted free agents is well documented. They make a proactive offer they feel is the right value and tell the player to go beat it if he feels he’s worth more."
After the 2018 NBA Draft in which the Kings took Marvin Bagley III with the No. 2 pick, they are projected to have around $17 million in salary-cap space. However, the Kings can create more room to spend by trading away some of their young talent. Specifically, players like No. 6 overall picks Buddy Hield and Willie Cauley-Stein could draw interest on the market, seeing as many teams may feel that the Kings have not developed the pair of 24-year olds up to this point. The two will make around a combined $8.5 million next season, and moving one or both of them would allow Sacramento to offer up a max-contract to free agents.
Real GM, referring back to Johnson, stated that the Bulls are hoping to sign LaVine for a figure between $14-to-$16 million. Interestingly enough, this figure is just under the threshold of what the Bulls reportedly want to offer LaVine.
And if you look at the teams outside of the Kings, the also rebuilding Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks and even the (now) title-contending Philadelphia 76ers could send sizeable offer sheets to LaVine. This would force the Bulls to truly show if they feel that he is a central part of the rebuild.
But as of now, Sacramento is the only team outside of the Bulls who are reportedly interested in LaVine.
With a core of De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Bagley, LaVine’s fit with the Kings is questionable, seeing as he has never played a large share of minutes at the small forward spot. But he certainly would add to their overall talent and “risk profile”.
One thing that is certain, July 1 promises to be a crucial point in time for the future of Chicago Bulls basketball.