Report: Zach LaVine Returning To The Bulls Isn’t ‘The Slam Dunk It Once Was’

Zach LaVine is among the biggest names on the market in the 2022 unrestricted free agent class. The Chicago Bulls’ All-Star guard has made clear he’s going into free agency with an open mind, telling the press recently that “I plan to enjoy free agency with what it is as a whole. I think you’re going to have to experience A-Z without making any fast decisions.”

Since then, there have been rumors that LaVine — who has said that he wants a max contract — will be a target for some teams hoping to make a splash. And on Friday, both KC Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago and Marc Stein indicated that the possibility of LaVine leaving the Windy City for somewhere else is more real than ever.

Via NBC Sports Chicago:

A prominent topic of conversation this week has been Zach LaVine’s future. Opinion — some of it educated, some of it guesswork — is varied on what the Chicago Bulls’ two-time All-Star guard will do when he hits unrestricted free agency on July 1.

But this much is certain: His return to the Bulls no longer is considered the slam dunk it once was.

In his latest newsletter, Stein echoed that sentiment by writing “There is much more hope in circulation than anticipated that LaVine can be lured away from the Bulls in free agency.”

LaVine joined the Bulls in the trade that sent Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves back in 2017. In each of the last two years, LaVine has parlayed his play into his first two All-Star nods, and in 2021-22, he averaged 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in 34.7 minutes per game. It was the first season of LaVine’s career that his team made it to the playoffs.