Zach LaVine is expected to finalize a new contract with the Bulls shortly after free agency begins at 6:00 pm Eastern, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. LaVine has informed people that he plans to stay in Chicago, and his new contract will likely be a five-year max deal in the $215MM range, Johnson adds.
After weeks of rumors that LaVine was prepared to explore his options on the free agent market, the situation has settled down in recent days and a return to Chicago appeared imminent. General manager Marc Eversley said after last week’s draft that the team would “do what it will take” to re-sign LaVine.
The 27-year-old guard has been an All-Star the past two years. He dealt with knee issues this season, but was still able to average 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 67 games.
There’s more from Chicago, all courtesy of Johnson:
- The Bulls are among several teams that would have interest in adding Danilo Gallinari if he gets waived by the Spurs. The move is expected after San Antonio agreed to acquire Gallinari on Wednesday as part of the return for Dejounte Murray. Johnson estimates that Gallinari will receive a two-year deal worth about $7-8MM per season and points out that Billy Donovan coached Gallinari with the Thunder.
- Chicago, which has been linked to several centers through trade and free agency rumors, has interest in signing Andre Drummond. Several other teams will also pursue Drummond, Johnson adds, but he should be available on a veteran’s minimum salary.
- Johnson says rumors that the Bulls will try to sign Mohamed Bamba are “on life support” and believes that reports of interest in dealing for Jazz center Rudy Gobert were exaggerated. Another possibility could be trading for San Antonio’s Jakob Poeltl if the Spurs continue to unload their veterans.
- It appears likely that third-year guard Coby White will remain in Chicago. Johnson states that the Bulls listened to offers for White before the draft and were asking for a young rotation player and a draft pick. White is among Chicago’s best outside shooters and provides backcourt depth that is important with concerns about Lonzo Ball‘s knee.