Zach LaVine and Bulls have been unable to reach a contract extension agreement this offseason. He said it won’t affect his performance or mindset heading into the season, Brian Windhorst of ESPN writes.
“What I can control is what I do on the court. That’s what I do best, I take care of business,” he said. “I’ll come into camp ready to be a good teammate and be a better leader every day and help my team win. I think that shows my value and I’ll let my business part speak for itself when the time comes.”
LaVine, who will make $19.5MM this season, could be the top unrestricted free agent on the market next summer unless he works something out with his current club. Given that the Bulls can’t offer more than about $105MM over four years on an extension, an in-season deal appears very unlikely.
We have more from the Central Division:
- Grayson Allen and Donte DiVincenzo are eligible for rookie scale extensions prior to the start of the season. Bucks GM Jon Horst is hopeful of reaching agreements with both but it’s not necessarily a high priority to get them locked up, he told Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “I don’t think it’s essential that we figure out how to extend them,” he said. “I think it’s a priority to have the discussions, see if there’s any kind of meeting of the minds or any way that we can land a deal with one or both those guys. They’re guys that we value and we like, but if not, they’re both restricted.”
- Oddsmakers have projected the Cavaliers to lose more games than any other Eastern Conference team except Orlando. That doesn’t stop Cleveland guard Darius Garland from setting his sights on the postseason, Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype writes. “Our expectations are to make the playoffs,” he said. “The league is very balanced this year, so it’s going to be tough, but I think we’ve got the guys and the mindset to do it.”
- Figuring out what to do with their top free agent acquisition, Kelly Olynyk, will be one of the main storylines in Pistons training camp, Keith Langlois of the team’s website writes. They’ll have to decide whether to start Olynyk or use him as Isaiah Stewart‘s backup. They’ll also have to decide whether to use to him at power forward at times alongside Stewart. Detroit targeted Olynyk due his ability to stretch the floor. He signed a three-year, $37MM contract in August.
- The Pistons are fully vaccinated, Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports tweets.