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RUMOR: Celtics planning to make a run at Bulls star Zach LaVine

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Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine has yet to sign an extension with his current team, and new reporting confirms that there will be many teams waiting in the wings to snatch the All-Star up should he enter free agency after the 2021-22 season. Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe recently reported that the Boston Celtics could aim to sign LaVine next summer.

“A potential Celtics free agent target could be Chicago’s Zach LaVine, who is entering the final year of his contract,” Washburn said. “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.”

It is unclear if Washburn is purely speculating or is basing this matchmaking off of insider info. Washburn has proven to be plugged into the Celtics’ organization. He did clarify that LaVine would not be the Celtics’ first priority, as that honor goes to Jayson Tatum’s childhood friend and mentor.

“In the case that Bradley Beal decides to stay in Washington, LaVine could be the Celtics’ No. 1 target,” Washburn said.

If Beal does remain in D.C. and the Celtics turn their attention to Zach LaVine, he would no doubt be a great fit in Beantown alongside Jaylen Brown and his Olympic teammate Tatum. He’s proven he can play on or off the ball, and the Celtics have myriad tough defenders to mask LaVine’s weaknesses on that end of the floor.

The Bulls elected to fill in the talent around LaVine this offseason by acquiring guards DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball rather than signing him to an extension, though due to salary cap restrictions, they couldn’t offer him the same amount he’ll be offered in free agency should he continue to perform like a max player.