Zach LaVine vs. Deandre Ayton: Is either worth a max contract from Spurs?

Phoenix Suns v Chicago Bulls
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Gregg Popovich, Zach LaVine
Chicago Bulls v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

The Case for Zach LaVine Signing With the Spurs

On the heels of back-to-back All-Star appearances, LaVine can expect to be handsomely rewarded for his scoring prowess this summer. There will be no shortage of teams campaigning to sign LaVine, but should the San Antonio Spurs be one of them?

As one of the best scorers in the league today, LaVine would bring an immediate influx of shotmaking ability to the San Antonio starting five. The Spurs didn't struggle to put up points last season but they're still missing a top-tier scorer who can make a difference in the playoffs.

Dejounte Murray took a leap forward as a scorer this past season. He was the man the Spurs looked to carry them through the fourth quarter and in clutch moments, but if San Antonio wants to take that next step they're going to need more firepower. Devin Vassell showed that he can be that guy at times, and we've seen clutch performances from Lonnie Walker, but neither of those two holds a candle to the night-to-night impact LaVine can provide.

This season, LaVine put up a cool 24 points per game on 39% from deep while also dealing out 4.5 assists per game. The only other players to match those numbers were Kevin Durant, Trae Young, Kyrie Irving, Devin Booker and Stephen Curry. But that kind of scoring doesn't come cheap.

LaVine hasn't been shy about his desire for a max contract, and the Bulls are uniquely positioned to offer him the five-year $212 million megadeal he's looking for. If Chicago decides not to offer LaVine the max and negotiations between the two go south, then San Antonio should be there to make their case.

A lineup of Dejounte Murray, LaVine, Vassell, Keldon Johnson, and Jakob Poeltl certainly isn't the best in the West, but it's enough to make some noise. Add in a top-10 first-round pick and continued development from players such as Josh Primo and Tre Jones, and this Spurs group stars to look awfully dangerous.

Should the Spurs offer LaVine a max contract? Probably, but at the end of the day, San Antonio can only afford to sign one star free agent this summer, and as appealing as adding LaVine might be, he still shouldn't be San Antonio's number one target.