In a recent interview with Yahoo senior writer, Vince Goodwill, LaVine said “It’s business,” when asked about the Bulls opting to make improvements to their roster before paying him his due extension.
At the end of the short clip, Goodwill tells LaVine that while he (LaVine) gave him the “politically correct answer,” but that he can “still see the chip on his shoulder.”
LaVine responded, “It grows every year,” with a smile and a laugh.
Bulls guard Zach LaVine to @YahooSports on the Bulls not extending him this offseason: “It’s business…I have a lot of different motivations in my life I try to use on the court.” pic.twitter.com/d0a8CPyi07
— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) September 10, 2021
There is a lot to learn about the Chicago Bulls and Adam LaVine from this interview.
First, LaVine wants to win.
He is more than understanding of the way Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley are going about managing the Bulls. The front office completely remastered the roster by adding DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, Nikola Vucevic, Alex Caruso, and finally filling the bench with solid role players like Alize Johnson, Ayo Dosunmu, Marko Simonovic, Stanley Johnson, Derrick Jones Jr., and more.
LaVine could not be happier with the way the roster looks. It looks like it has a ceiling of being a top-three seed in the Eastern Conference and a floor of making the playoffs at the minimum while avoiding having to play in the play-in tournament. Any talks of LaVine being unhappy or wanting to leave should be shut down.
Smile if you’re ready for the season ? pic.twitter.com/NVECG7QK7C
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) September 8, 2021
Second, LaVine wants his respect.
LaVine wants to be paid in big boy dollars, which he should. The Bulls franchise star put up 27 points, five rebounds, and five assists per game last year. Outside of the main statistics, LaVine shot 50 percent from the field, and more impressively — 41.9 percent from downtown on 8.2 three-point attempts per game.
There’s always room for improvement with his ball security (3.5 turnovers per game) and his defense (career negative defensive box plus/minus). But, LaVine is in the prime of his career and has seen this team at its highest and its lowest in his tenure.
LaVine’s contract that he signed with the Bulls earned him just south of $20 million per year over four years. He is entering the final year of the deal he inked with the squad in 2018.
What should LaVine be making per year?
Considering the top scorers in the NBA, particularly the top ten, all earn north of $30 million per year, I would say around that much. LaVine ranked 13th in total scoring last year with his 27.4 average. He is a big-time all-star in the prime of his career, and he needs to be compensated fairly as one of the founding fathers of the Bulls’ turnaround.
The Bulls front office decided to put on their own oxygen mask first before putting on LaVine’s, which is a fine decision. They will have some cap issues in the future because they will have to dip into the future cap with LaVine’s extension/new contract that is soon to come. The bottom line is that LaVine will get paid. The only questions that remain are “when?” and “how much?”