How Zach LaVine’s contract signing affects free agency: Bulls’ cap space, roster needs

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Bulls star Zach LaVine stays put after signing a five-year, $215.2 million max contract in free agency, Athletic’s Shams Charania reports.

After initial speculation that the Bulls would not offer LaVine the maximum, the front office opted to retain the 27-year-old for his prime years.

LaVine is coming off another solid season for the Bulls, averaging 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists. He was named to his second straight All-Star team.

How is LaVine’s signing shaping Chicago’s offseason?

Zach LaVine contract details

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, LaVine signed a five-year, $215.2 million max contract to stay with the Bulls.

LaVine earned a max contract after signing a four-year, $78 million deal with the Bulls in the 2018 offseason. Since joining Chicago, LaVine has become an All-Star-level talent, with a averaged 24.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists over five seasons.

Last season, LaVine helped the Bulls return to the playoffs for the first time since 2017. With the star guard locked up for the future, he will look to lead Chicago’s pursuit of an NBA title.

Bulls free agents

With LaVine’s maximum deal on the books, the Bulls turn their attention to their remaining free agents.

Derrick Jones Jr. and Tristan Thompson are both unrestricted free agents, while Matt Thomas, Malcolm Hill and Tyler Cook are all restricted free agents.

Reserve big man Tony Bradley picked up his $1.9 million player option, and the Bulls also signed Andre Drummond to a two-year, $6.6 million deal on day one of free agency.

Unrestricted Free Agents Restricted Free Agents Player’s Choice Team Option
Zach LaVine Troy Brown Jr. Tony Bradley None
Derrick Jones Jr. thomas thomas
Tristan Thompson Malcolm’s Hill
Tyler Cook

Bulls future salaries, list

With LaVine signed through 2027, the Bulls have nearly $100 million tied up in their core of LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball and Nikola Vucevic for 2022-23.

Vucevic is the only player without a contract next summer, with DeRozan signed until 2023-24 and Ball signed until 2024-25. Alex Caruso is also signed until the end of the 2024-25 season.

Players 2022-23 2023-24 2024-25
Zach LaVine $37.1 million $40.1 million $43 million
DeMar DeRozan $27.3 million $28.6 million
Nikola Vucevic $22 million
Lonzo Ball $19.5 million $20.4 million $21.3 million (purchase order)
Alex Caruso $9.03 million $9.4 million $9.89 million
patrick williams $7.75 million $9.8 million
Coby White $7.4 million
Tony Bradley $2.03 million (purchase order)
Javote Green $1.8 million

All salaries come from Spotrac.

Purchase order = Player option

To = team option

CH = Cap hold

FRG = Restricted Free Agency

UFA = Unrestricted Free Agency

Remaining needs of bulls

With LaVine locked into a long-term deal, the Bulls have yet to find depth this offseason.

They signed Drummond to fill the need for a reserve center after the combination of Thompson and Bradley was unconvincing last season.

The Bulls also have the mid-tier exception worth up to $10 million at their disposal, which they could use to add reinforcements to the wing.

Behind DeRozan and LaVine, the Bulls are looking for an experienced and versatile forward in the mold of a player like TJ Warren.

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