The Chicago Bulls have made an investment in Zach LaVine, and that investment has come under criticism from those who don’t believe that LaVine is worth the investment that the Bulls made in him when they matched the four-year, $80 million deal offer sheet LaVine received from the Sacramento Kings last week.
LaVine is happy to be in Chicago and is looking forward to a full season of action.
“I wanted to just deal with Chicago,” LaVine said, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. “I never wanted to get to a point of having [an offer sheet]. Regardless of whatever happened, I’m putting that behind us. I’m happy as hell that I’m going to be able to play for the team I wanted to play for.
“A lot of stuff with me, emotions or whatever it is, it can be taken out of context. I want to let that be known — I never had any bad will toward Chicago. You guys are the first team to show interest in me from Minnesota, and I’m extremely happy to be back.”
LaVine is also confident that the deal he received was properly valuated, despite criticism to the contrary.
“I know what I’m worth,” LaVine said. “I put a lot of hard work into this. People are going to put their own opinion on things … or they try to judge you. But I came back last year.
“I knew what my market was even in a dropped market. I knew what I was going to be around. I’m glad that we finally got to come to a conclusion and both sides are happy with that.”
Bulls Pulling Jabari Parker from Regular Rotation
The 23-year old Parker came to Chicago via a two-year, $40 million deal during the offseason, and marked a return to his hometown and a chance to re-ignite his career.
Now, it appears certain that the Bulls will decline his option, sending Parker back to free agency next summer.
“Jabari has been great,” Bulls head coach Jim Boylen said, according to Andrews. “He understands. Jabari wants to make it about helping the team win. And that’s what I’ve asked him to do.”
Parker has averaged 15.8 points and 7.1 rebounds for Chicago this season.
Bulls’ Zach Lavine Meets Privately with Jim Boylen
Amid the division within the Chicago Bulls organization between new head coach Jim Boylen, who took over recently for the fired Fred Hoiberg, and a number of players on the roster, has taken another turn.
According to ESPN’s Malika Andrews and Ramona Shelbourne, Bulls guard Zach LaVine spoke with Boylen one-on-one following the players boycotting of Sunday’s practice imposed by Boylen, which they felt was excessive.
“You just want to be real with people,” LaVine said, per the report. “There shouldn’t be any clouds. I think of myself as one of the leaders on the team. I just wanted to voice my opinion to them.”
“This is a business, this isn’t a dictatorship. We are all grown men, so everybody has a voice.”
Boylen has said that he has spoken with the team regarding the purpose of the practice on Sunday, but it is clear that the dysfunction runs deep in the organization.
Bulls Name Jim Boylen Permanent Head Coach
“Decisions like this one are never easy to make, however I felt this was the right choice for our organization at this time,” John Paxson, the Bulls’ executive vice president of basketball operations, said in a statement.
“After a thorough evaluation, I elected to make this move with the overall development of our team in mind. As a team, I believe it is imperative that we make unfaltering strides in the right direction and build the right habits to help put our players in the best position to evolve not only now, but into the future. I want to thank Fred for his dedication and efforts, as well as for his enduring commitment to our team.”
Boylen is signed through the 2019-20 season, paying him just under $1 million annually, according to ESPN.
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