Bulls

LaVine, Bulls Would Both Benefit From Renewing Vows

on

Although reports are swirling about Zach LaVine’s return to the Chicago Bulls on a max contract, still preparing for the two-time All-Star guard’s departure would be the smartest move the franchise could make.

Because there is no honor during free agency.

https://twitter.com/ChiSportUpdates/status/1541838563435855879

Carlos Boozer once had a handshake agreement in place to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers and continue to team with a young LeBron James, only to have a change of heart and sign with the Utah Jazz. Members of the Los Angeles Clippers once held DeAndre Jordan hostage and convinced him to re-sign with the team after he had already agreed to sign with the Dallas Mavericks.

Kyrie Irving stood in front of a packed arena of Boston Celtics fans and promised he’d re-sign with the team, only to turn around and sign with the Brooklyn Nets.

NBA free agency is indeed a paradox…

The Chicago Bulls & Free Agency

The Bulls have a rather interesting track record when it comes to free agency. Whether it’s re-signing their own players or attempting to sign players away from other teams, WHEN the Bulls decide to participate in free agency, there is never a dull moment. Just ask Tracy McGrady.

In previous years, there has always been this idea that free agents shy away from signing with the team because they didn’t want to play in Michael Jordan’s shadow or because they felt the organization mistreated the GOAT. Maybe it’s because late General Manager Jerry Krause once coined the phrase, “Players and coaches don’t win championships; Organizations win championships”.

There is also a negative stigma surrounding the franchise that ownership is unwilling to pay into the luxury tax for a non-contending roster. All of these are woven into the ill-fated tapestry that is the Chicago Bulls’ free-agency history.

LaVine 

It would be foolish to believe Zach LaVine still has hard feelings towards the organization because of his last foray into free agency. As a restricted free agent in the summer of 2018, he signed a four-year, $80 million offer sheet from the Kings.

How did it reach the point where he needed to get the bag from another team before getting his current team to take him off the market?

At the time, he had already proved that he was an ascending young player despite coming off an ACL injury. Still, the infamous duo of the two-headed monster that used to make team decisions, “GarPax” (Gar Forman and John Paxson), made him go out and secure a contract offer just so they could match it.

Maybe that’s why, four years later, he told media that he’s testing free agency.

Even if it’s just a ploy by he and Rich Paul to get the new front-office duo of “AKME” (Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley) to offer him the full max contract, he isn’t pulling any punches this time around.

Zach & The Bulls

The worst outcome imaginable is for the two parties failing to agree to a long-term deal. The team can ill-afford to take a hit to its reputation with players and agents around the league after spending the last two seasons repairing its image as an organization that doesn’t pay its players.

Allowing LaVine to walk would be a major setback for the franchise.

In turn, LaVine would be excoriated by the Chicago fanbase if he walked away after the team made an earnest effort to build around him. Most fans don’t respect a player’s right to sign with whomever they choose and in LaVine’s case, a great portion of the fanbase doesn’t believe that he deserves a max contract.

In the end, the two sides have no choice but to renew their vows. LaVine has always stated that his top priorities are getting the respect he deserves (by paying him a max contract) and winning.

Every team that can sign LaVine outright will not be able to get him any closer to a championship than his current one. The team that aligns best with his goals ARE the Chicago Bulls. For the team, there is no player from a talent and production standpoint that could replace LaVine. The ideal course of action would be for the team to add talent to its roster with him being still a part of it.

For the next five years, both sides would be happiest if they remain together in holy matrimony. So at the start of free agency, wedding bells should ring in the city of Chicago.

About Legacy Hughes-Martin

Legacy Hughes-Martin is a regular contributor at The Lead Sports Media. Connect with him about freelance writing, sports (NBA/NFL), anime and professional wrestling on Twitter @deezthemfg or www.instagram.com/DeeZtheMFG.

Recommended for you

Powered by themekiller.com