Free Agency Notes: LaVine, Harden, Porter Jr., Mavericks

Bulls star Zach LaVine agreed to re-sign with the team on Friday, reaching a five-year, maximum-salary agreement worth $215MM. While the money was certainly a major factor in LaVine’s decision, it’s also about his loyalty to the Bulls and his confidence in the team’s direction going forward, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes.

“Chicago is my home,” LaVine said. “I really started making my name here. And I want to continue what I helped start here as well. I’m extremely excited. I appreciate the fans. And I’m ready to continue this winning process that we have going.”

LaVine guided the Bulls to a playoff berth this season, averaging 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. He also shot an efficient 48% from the floor and 39% from distance. It was his second straight All-Star campaign — the only two of his career to date.

Here are some other free agency-related notes:

  • The Sixers are meeting with star free agent James Harden in the Hamptons on Saturday to discuss a multi-year deal, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports (via Twitter). Harden opted out of his $47.3MM player option and will presumably accept a more team-friendly multiyear deal. Philadelphia acquired him prior to last season’s trade deadline, sending away a package that featured disgruntled star Ben Simmons.
  • Otto Porter Jr.‘s deal with the Raptors is believed to be worth most, if not all, of the $10.5MM non-taxpayer mid-level exception, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports writes. Porter reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with Toronto. The second season contains a player option.
  • The Mavericks may keep an open roster spot for the immediate future, veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein relays (Twitter link). Dallas has expressed interest in free agent guard Goran Dragic, but the team’s need for a back-up wing is apparent. The Mavs could wait to see if an unexpected solution arises at the position, Stein notes.
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