Enter the Sacramento Leverages Kings.
The Bulls are expected to make a good-faith, proactive offer to LaVine, but if he seeks a maximum contract, he likely will need to get an offer sheet. The Bulls are prepared for at least one Western Conference team to make a run at LaVine, for whom they can match any offer.
Overpaying LaVine – a good 3-point shooter whose athleticism hasn’t translated into a strong all-around game, especially defensively – would be very on brand for the Kings. But so would a player using Sacramento for leverage.
The Kings get no benefit of the doubt. It’s quite believable they’ll try to lure LaVine, which plays to his advantage.
Would Sacramento actually pursue LaVine? They have Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield at shooting guard, but neither is good enough to justify ignoring other options. LaVine would add young talent, and the Kings could always use more of that.
Is Sacramento a real or contrived threat to sign LaVine? Chicago must evaluate the possibilities when determining its own initial offer, but at least the Bulls have matching rights as a safety net.