Report: Zach LaVine signs four-year, $78 million offer sheet with Kings, Bulls to match.
UPDATE: The Chicago Bulls are going to match
The Bulls have decided to match Sacramento's $78M offer sheet to Zach LaVine, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 7, 2018
The Sacramento Kings had been talking to LaVine about a potential offer, and they came in big reports Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
RFA Zach LaVine has agreed to a four-year, $80M offer sheet with the Sacramento Kings, league sources tell Yahoo. The Chicago Bulls have 48 hours to match.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 6, 2018
In one of tightest free agencies in recent NBA markets, LaVine’s $80M offer sheet gives him richest guaranteed non-max deal for summer of 2018 so far.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 6, 2018
The deal has no options and no-trade clauses, according to Vince Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago. The Bulls’ deadline is 11:59 ET on Sunday.
To keep a team from matching on a restricted free agent, the team with the offer sheet usually has to overpay. Still, that is A LOT of money for LaVine. A lot.
That said, the Bulls and LaVine were talking and sources said the salary offer was around $18 million a season. Is that $2 million a season worth losing him? Or, have the Bulls shifted their focus more toward Lauri Markkanen as the cornerstone of the future.
LaVine is a bet on potential, he has shown a lot in stretches, but his game is based on athleticism and he is coming off an ACL surgery, then had to be shut down last season with knee tendonitis. Health has to be a concern.
However, if healthy he has the tools to be a quality two guard in the NBA. His last season in Minnesota before the ACL injury he averaged 18.9 points per game with an above-average 57.6 true shooting percentage and the ability to hit threes. The questions are can he get back to that place physically, and can his game mature to make up for any loss of athleticism? LaVine does put in the work. Also, to LaVine’s credit, since coming to the Bulls he embraced the role of being the new face of the franchise in public.
The Kings are betting that the Bulls don’t want to go up to $20 million, and Sacramento will have added to a young core that includes De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, and Marvin Bagley III. They will have some quality young pieces who can play an exciting up-tempo style.
Which rebuilding team is willing to pay LaVine for his potential?