Zach LaVine will remain a Bull after signing a five-year, $215,2 million contract to return to Chicago following his first summer as a free agent.
The agreement, which was announced by the agency Klutch Sports Group on Friday, includes a player option for the fifth year.
The contract signed by LaVine is the longest in franchise history. Prior to this season, the club had never signed a player to a contract worth more than $100 million.
Despite receiving offers from teams across the league, LaVine was not widely discussed in NBA rumors as free agency began on Thursday. During his April exit interview with the media, the guard emphasized his commitment to losing programs in Minnesota and Chicago, where he led long-term rebuilds.
Since being acquired in a 2017 trade with the Timberwolves, LaVine has been the Bulls’ roster’s beating heart. LaVine, who averaged 24.4 points per game over five seasons in Chicago before DeMar DeRozan’s arrival, provided the majority of the team’s highlights during four difficult seasons. LaVine led the Bulls to their first postseason berth in five years, his first trip to the playoffs, with the help of a prolific scoring partner and an improved supporting cast.
This offseason was marred by a recurring issue for LaVine: arthroscopic surgery for a left knee injury that sidelined and slowed the guard for the majority of the second half of the previous season. In 2016, LaVine tore the ACL in the same knee, and he has been plagued by injuries throughout his career.
The Bulls’ preseason preparations will continue to center on LaVine’s health. Artras Karniovas, executive vice president of basketball operations, stated that LaVine’s surgery and recovery have gone smoothly, and the team expects him to be fully available for the upcoming season.