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Report: Zach LaVine wants pulls to put some ‘respect’ on his next contract

Chicago will have a lot of decisions to make with free agency opening on Monday night.

Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls smiles during the second quarter of the NBA game against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena on May 09, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls will be working hard to get a contract extension done with SG Zach LaVine this offseason. Apparently, after having a career year, LaVine wants some “respect” put on his next contract with Chicago, the All-Star told reporters while at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday.

LaVine, 26, is set to make $19.5 million in the final year of his current deal, which expires after the 2021-22 season. So the Bulls can sign LaVine to an extension this offseason before the regular season begins to avoid any distractions or potential for him leaving via free agency in 2022.

The former UCLA Bruin is coming off his best NBA season, averaging 27.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.9 assists while sporting 50/42/85 shooting splits, which are very impressive. He was top 10 in scoring and top 25 in terms of PER (21.62) in making his first All-Star appearance. LaVine is still young and should command a pretty hefty pay raise as one of the NBA’s budding stars.

According to Brian Windhorst, since LaVine’s salary was $19.5 million on the last contract, there’s only so much the Bulls can pay LaVine on an extension. The next deal would come out to four years and $105 million, which would be around $26.25 million per season. LaVine would likely command north of $30 million per year on the open market or close to it. The Bulls will need to move around some contracts to create cap space in order to get LaVine to a number he’s satisfied with.

The Bulls could risk it and go into next season with LaVine in the final year. He would hit unrestricted free agency after 2021-22 and the Bulls could still sign him to a new deal. Chicago will have plenty of cap space after this season, depending on what the team does in free agency this offseason. If Lonzo Ball is brought in, there won’t be much wiggle room until next year or until the team sheds some contracts (Thad Young, Tomas Satoransky). The Ball deal would be an avenue to offloading a few contracts, however.