The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has exercised its right of first refusal and matched the offer sheet extended to guard Zach LaVine by the Sacramento Kings. In accordance with team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
LaVine came to the Bulls ahead of the 2017-18 season through a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves in a Draft-night deal that also included Kris Dunn and the No. 7 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft (Lauri Markkanen) in exchange for Jimmy Butler and the No. 16 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft (Justin Patton).
“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.”
After recovering from an ACL injury, LaVine made his Bulls debut on Jan. 13, 2018, vs. Detroit. He played in 24 games (24 starts) last season and averaged 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.00 steals in 27.3 minutes per game. LaVine led the Bulls in scoring in eight games and had 11 outings of 20-plus points. He scored in double digits in 10 games in a row from Jan. 31 through March 2, and became the seventh player in NBA history to record at least 18 points, five rebounds and five assists in 20 minutes or less vs. Miami on Jan. 15.
Originally selected 13th overall by Minnesota in the 2014 NBA Draft, LaVine owns career averages of 14.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 28.7 minutes per game. He was named to the 2015 All-Rookie Second Team and was a two-time participant in the Rising Stars game at All-Star Weekend in 2015 and 2016. He was named MVP of the game in 2016. LaVine is also a two-time Slam Dunk Champion (2015 and 2016).