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Bulls’ Zach LaVine thinks his contract is looking like ‘a pretty good deal’ now

Zach LaVine, Bulls

The Chicago Bulls have not had a good history with respect to star players on large contracts while also struggling with knee injuries (just ask Derrick Rose).

So when Chicago’s front office decided to match the four-year, $78 million offer sheet that Zach LaVine signed with the Sacramento Kings last summer, there was plenty of skepticism to go around.

Sure, LaVine was one of the centerpieces of the trade that sent Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves. But he was also recovering from a torn ACL and played just 24 games with the Bulls in the 2017-18 season. The feeling was that Chicago was taking a massive risk by investing so heavily in a player who had only made 71 appearances over the course of two seasons.

All of those doubts have been erased thanks to the best season of LaVine’s young career. As of Sunday, he was averaging around 24 points and nearly five rebounds and five assists while shooting 37% from beyond the arc.

LaVine has taken off as one of the most explosive offensive threats in the game, and his evolution as a competitor and team leader have made him that much more valuable to the organization moving forward.

In fact, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic wrote about LaVine’s insistence that the Bulls will make the playoffs next season, as well as his message for the contract haters:

But no longer is LaVine hearing the noise of last summer, when plenty said the Bulls shouldn’t have matched the offer sheet from Sacramento. “Nah,” LaVine said. “Now it’s looking like I’ve got a pretty good deal, right?”

Chicago has the fourth-best lottery odds in the upcoming NBA Draft and plenty of cap space. With LaVine leading a respectable young core, they could make some noise next season.