Zach LaVine is officially staying with the Chicago Bulls.
The athletic young shooting guard signed a massive four-year, $80 million offer sheet with the Sacramento Kings once free agency officially began on July 6th. Chicago was reportedly set to match the massive restricted free agent offer sheet, which they did on Sunday.
Bulls EVP of Basketball Operations John Paxson released a statement with the signing, saying that he was excited to have LaVine back on the team and that he showed real heart working back from an ACL injury.
“We were excited last summer when we got a dynamic athlete in Zach LaVine through the trade, and we’re excited now that we get to keep him,” said John Paxson, Chicago Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations. “Zach showed a relentless work ethic in rehabbing his ACL injury to return to the court, and he has a visible passion for the game of basketball. We know that those attributes, along with his honed skills, will make him an impact player in this league for years to come. We’re thrilled to keep Zach on this Bulls team moving forward.”
The question moving forward is whether LaVine will have the same kind of athleticism he had before the ACL injury.
Smart money would put his game needing to move to a more measured approach, and by matching LaVine’s RFA offer it seems Chicago is betting that he has the wherewithal to make that happen moving forward.