LaVine will be a restricted free agent next summer after the deadline for a rookie scale contract extension passed last Monday. Several sources have reported that the Bulls have every intention of keeping the fourth-year combo guard, who was one of the key pieces in June’s Jimmy Butler trade.
LaVine told reporters today that it’s “fine” that an extension wasn’t reached, adding, “I know I’m going to be in black and red for a long time.”
He is still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in February while he was with the Timberwolves. Doctors originally gave him a nine-month timeline before he could play again, and the Bulls are sticking to that schedule. LaVine said he feels ready to take the court now, but the team won’t clear him for contact until mid-November (Twitter link).
“I think we’ll re-evaluate when we get close,” he said. “I’m pushing as much as possible. I want to play with my guys.” (Twitter link).
A two-time winner of the Slam Dunk competition at All-Star Weekend, LaVine was putting together his best season before the injury hit. He averaged 18.9 points and 3.4 rebounds in 47 games.