The 27-year-old unrestricted free agent has already made it known he'll be going into the summer with an open mind fresh off his second consecutive NBA All-Star appearance with the Chicago Bulls. Now the chase begins, with several suitors likely in the mix for his services next season.
The expectation is that LaVine will command a maximum salary contract from whichever team ends up taking him over the summer, whether that be in Chicago or another team in need of star power to boost their future. In his latest for Bleacher Report, Jake Fischer gave the latest updates on the situation in the Windy City.
"The premise that Zach LaVine's contract expiration would swiftly result in a lucrative extension with Chicago has dissolved," he begins. While he ultimately believes the Bulls are still the favorites to retain LaVine, the door is at least cracked open for other teams to enter the fray.
Fischer mentions how LaVine took a second fiddle role to former Spur DeMar DeRozan in Chicago this season, which is similar to what LaVar Ball recently said when he claimed LaVine was as good as gone. This development has led to him being viewed as more gettable than previously thought.
The Spurs have one advantage over most teams in LaVine pursuit
"Few teams outside of Chicago can offer LaVine both the maximum salary and the alpha dog scoring role he is said to covet," said Fischer in Tuesday morning's update. "Another Seattle native, Dejounte Murray, could provide another All-Star pairing for LaVine where he could reunite with his Olympics head coach Gregg Popovich."
This rings true, as Zach would certainly become the instant number one option in San Antonio, which can offer him the max if that's what they feel he's worth. Most potential suitors can only offer one or the other unless a sign-and-trade is worked out, which comes with even more complications for Chicago.
If LaVine really wants an "alpha dog" role going forward, he won't be getting that in Chicago. Nor will he get that if he joins a team with an established scoring star. Murray might be an NBA All-Star now, but there's no question he would be happy to take a secondary role if it means the friend he's openly recruited jumps onboard.