When the Chicago Bulls decided to trade Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the rights to Lauri Markkanen in the 2017 NBA Draft, they officially pushed the start button on their rebuild. The Bulls acquired three young players to help in the rebuild process, figuring to keep them part of the future for a long time.
With Dunn and Markkanen locked up, only LaVine was set to enter free agency after the 2017-18 season. On Thursday, the Bulls tendered LaVine making him a restricted free agent and giving the team the opportunity to match any deal he signs.
LaVine will likely get a big contract this offseason whether it’s from the Bulls or another team and he could see a max deal come his way. With free agency just around the corner, there was talk of a Western Conference team showing some interest in signing LaVine. The guard is looking for a deal somewhere in the range of $14M per year with four years being ideal.
The Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson reported that the Sacramento Kings are the team that is showing some interest in signing LaVine to an offer:
One team consistently mentioned as strongly considering a run at Zach LaVine in restricted free agency: The Kings.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) June 28, 2018
If the Kings do sign LaVine to an offer sheet he’s looking for, it will certainly cost the Bulls. Will John Paxson and Gar Forman be willing to sign LaVine to a large contract after dealing Butler for him?
It will certainly be one of the biggest question marks surrounding free agency and the Bulls.