CHICAGO – Although Zac Lavin said he went “open-minded” to the NBA Free Agency this summer, his decision to return to the Chicago Bulls was an easy one, especially after the team offered him a maximum five-year contract. Expansion with player options for the fifth season.
“Chicago is my home,” Lavin told reporters during a video call Monday. “We’ve built something in the last few years – well, at least for me, I’ve been here for five years – and I’ve built something in the last two or three years. I was able to return a cornerstone and permission. Some of my inputs, which were designed to help me win and to help me win, were really nice to me. ,
After signing a five-year, $ 215 million extension to live in Chicago, Lavin said he has not met any other team during the free agency, which he disrespected.
Respect for LaVine is key during his contract negotiations. After becoming an all-star twice in four years, he withdrew from his previous contract, signing a $ 78 million deal in 2018 and making it clear last summer that he wanted to honor him. The compromise Bulls met his demands, offered him the biggest deal in franchise history and no other team would have offered him.
“I went into the off-season with a free mind. I set my goal as usual, “Lavin said.” Once I get it [general manager Marc Eversley and Bulls VP of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas] And they brought me everything I wanted, I had no other reason to go out and see other teams.
“I think it would have been disrespectful to me because they gave me what they asked for. At the tables I saw were all the seekers of Chicago. I did it right in my time. My heart was in Chicago. “
Jimmy Butler, 27, from Chicago to Minnesota, will enter his sixth season with the Bulls after joining a business-focused organization. He missed most of his first season in Chicago, playing 24 games, after recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee while with the Timberwolves.
Lavin has been the face of the franchise ever since the team struggled on the court. The Bulls lost the playoffs in their first four seasons and brought in Nicola Vusevi, Demar DeRojan and Lonzo Ball to play with Lavin before the roster makeover. Last season, Chicago reached the playoffs for the first time since 2017.
“It’s just a sign of respect, they’ve been looking at me as a player for the last four years and looking at what I can bring in the future,” Lavin said. “I’m happy, I’m excited and working with me to bring me back, it was great.
“Personally, [I want] Pushing oneself to reach higher and higher things; If it’s not an All-NBA, if it’s not an MVP, then team-wise, it’s a championship win. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. You hear me say that personal things come with victories, and as we get better and better as a team and as a player I push myself better, I think those things will match. ,
LaVine averaged 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 67 games last season and spent most of the time needed for surgery for a left knee injury in the second half. The Bulls continued to play with injuries during the contract year – despite some obvious setbacks during the season – and did not consider his injury to negotiate a new contract.
LaVine performed arthroscopic knee surgery on his left knee, the same surgery in 2017, requiring ACL surgery in May. He described the process as “run-of-the-mill-knee scope”.
“I feel great,” he said Monday. “I’m doing rehabilitation, exercise, sports, weightlifting, all the good things and the boring things. As always, you have to start slowly. It’s great and I feel really good and in the next few months, on the return season I feel like me. That would be great. “