As good as Zach LaVine was in 2020-21, he could be even better and more respected after the 2021-22 season.
Barring something unexpected, the Chicago Bulls should be a playoff team and LaVine should be playing a significant role in Chicago’s success. LaVine is set to be a free agent at the end of the season unless the Bulls can convince him to sign a less-lucrative extension during the campaign.
Most consider that unlikely and while it seems LaVine is planning to re-up with the Bulls, who can pay him the most money, there is a chance a team could swoop in and sign him away from Chicago.
We’ve heard rumblings about the New York Knicks having interest, and there will always be talk of the Los Angeles Lakers considering LaVine spent a year at UCLA, but a new major market NBA team is apparently entering the conversation.
Celtics Reportedly Interested in Signing Zach LaVine
The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn believes the Boston Celtics could be more interested in Zach LaVine than Bradley Beal. Washburn wrote:
A potential Celtics free agent target could be Chicago’s Zach LaVine, who is entering the final year of his contract. He will have to prove he can lead the Bulls to the playoffs before a contract extension. LaVine changed representation recently and signed with Klutch Sports, which is usually the move for players who want to maximize their free agent potential. LaVine, 26, just coming off helping Team USA to the gold medal, will ask for a maximum contract in the open market. The Olympic experience may have enhanced LaVine’s value because he was asked to be a three-and-D player, sparking the Americans with his full-court defense and ability to run the floor. In the case that Bradley Beal decides to stay in Washington, LaVine could be the Celtics’ No. 1 target. The Bulls, who added DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball in the offseason, have full intentions to be a factor in the Eastern Conference.
What would it take for LaVine to leave Chicago, and what would the lure be in Boston?
It Would Take a Disastrous Season in Chicago to Push LaVine Out
If the Bulls only qualify for the Play-In and don’t put together a deep run in the postseason, or don’t make the playoffs at all, Chicago should consider themselves in danger of loosing the NBA All-Star and Olympic gold medalist.
LaVine is into the prime of his career, and he wants to win. It would be foolish of him to link himself long-term to a situation he doesn’t believe has the ability to turn into a winning one soon.
The Celtics have the mystique and could have a higher probability of drawing other superstars in free agency. LaVine’s Olympic teammate Jayson Tatum is in Boston, and the combination of the two would give Beantown a prime-level dynamic duo.
If Chicago can finish in the Top-5 in the East, it is doubtful LaVine would look to move. Instead, the Bulls would likely move a piece in hopes of taking the next step into contention. It should be an interesting year and one that fans all over the NBA will be watching.