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Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency

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Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency 

Post#1 » by gf2020hotmail » Tue Aug 17, 2021 8:08 pm

LONG POST, but TLDR summation -- Zach's incredibly likely to NOT leave next off-season (edit: sorry, newborn wrecking my brain)

I think yesterday was actually a low key big deal for Zach's free agency next off-season because the Celtics extended Marcus Smart, basically removing them as a max cap space destination next summer. Along with the Knicks extending Randle, that removes two of the teams that I would have been most worried about as suitors.

I thought it would be a good time to lay out the market as it stands now and potentially use this thread to track intel and changes in cap space across the league.

Zach's max starting salary on a new deal is $35.7 million if he doesn't make an All-NBA team, which is the overwhelmingly likelihood. With Curry, Doncic and Lilliard as locks, Zach would have to jump two of Paul, Beal, Irving, Harden, Mitchell, Young, Westbrook and Simmons and hold off Jrue Holliday and Jaylen Brown to get a spot on all-nba second or third team this season. If he somehow did that, his max would be $41.65 million dollars.

There are shockingly few teams with currently max cap space at the moment for next season and nearly all of them project to be worse than us, which I've shown by their current Vegas Win Totals. The Bulls' win total is 39.5 by point of comparison.

They are:

Orlando: Approximately $47 million without Bamba or Carter on the books / Vegas Win Total for next year: 24
Detroit: Approximately $40 million with Diallo not on the books, $35 million with Dilallo on the books / Vegas Win Total for next year: 25.5 (Zach played with Jerami Grant on the olympic team is a very minor factor, but they will be very bad and young and can't see Zach wanting to take that step back in Detroit of all places even though I might like their long term prospects better than ours.)

Both teams are likely to lose $6 to $11 million of that by adding another high draft pick, which would likely take the Pistons out of max cap space.

Then there are two teams that are basically there depending on cap holds and roster decisions

San Antonio: $43 million if they don’t make a $13.3 qualifying offer to Lonnie Walker before Free Agency begins AND stretch/waive Zach Collins’ non guaranteed money. Either one of those things would eliminate them as having max cap space. / Vegas Win Total: 28.5 (Other factor might be his relationship with Pop from the Olympics but Pop likely retiring soon anyway.)

Obviously a high draft pick would likely take the Spurs out of the running for max cap space. LaVine would also be an odd roster move given how much money in picks and resources they have at the guard position.

Memphis: Approximately 26 million with Culver’s option decline and a $27.5 cap hold for Jaren Jackson but that doesn’t include the three first round draft picks they are likely to have, which could be around $8 million in salary. Theoretically, they could dump all of the picks or pick foreign stashes, hold Jackson’s salary to $17 starting out, and move 1 or 2 of their smaller contract and be around a max cap space but it seems unlikely Jackson agrees to $17 million right away. Vegas Win Total: 41

And then a wild card that may matter now are the Pelicans.

New Orleans: Approximately $18 million after the Josh Hart signing, but on 8/19 we learned that's apparently unguaranteed so they are at 30 million if they decline that, which means they only need 6 million more and have some easily movable contracts. We saw them clear cap space under even more difficult circumstances just for the chance to pitch Kyle Lowry / Win Total: 38.5

And that's basically the field.

Zach leaving in a sign & trade to other teams seems very unlikely because he doesn't have a destination from among these 4 to 6 cap space options he'd likely want to go to as alternative if he had to as a leverage play (or else he would just sign there) to force the Bulls' hands. Like can Zach plausibly say I am going to sign in Detroit and leave you for nothing unless you sign and trade me to the Clippers or 76ers (just as an example) so you can get something? And many of the more attractive teams you'd want to go to a sign and trade would already above the $151.1 million hard cap entering next season, meaning they couldn't even legally acquire a max player in a sign and trade anyway.

Just as importantly, if Zach was fully committed to leaving, I just can't see the Bulls wanting to take on the at least $29 million in guaranteed salary for the 22 to 23 season to make the sign and trade work because they'd probably want to retool and not pay that much for a worse team and no Zach.

I basically put all of this together to demonstrate that if you read anybody saying Zach is likely to leave next off-season, they likely haven't yet grasped the contours of the market. (I've heard a few people such as Danny Leroux opine the DeRozan s&t was so bad that it might cause our situation to worsen to the point that Zach would look elsewhere. It seems reactionary and unlikely to me given Zach was likely a driver of many of these moves even if they are actually bad.)

The Bulls are in a dominant position to retain him. They can pay the most and add an extra year. They have a better competitive situation than basically any team that could acquire him outright. And the cap space around the league is only likely to shrink with extensions and other moves because the free agency market is so woeful next year, teams aren't likely to make moves to free up space. (Beyond Bradley Beal who I bet extends or forces his way to the Celtics and Zach himself, literally the only two starters under 30 available at premium positions are TJ Warren and Aaron Gordon. That's it.)

And the reality is that Zach can get his money and deal and force his way out a year or two later. Free agency has really given way to trades in terms of player movements for the bigger guys the last two off-seasons anyway.

I think the only threat of Zach not being on the team in 22-23 is we have a start so bad this season that he and agent brutally force their way out at the trade deadline to avoid restrictions on where he could go that would come from waiting to be signed and traded. And that doesn't seem like Zach's speed and and I can't imagine we'd be out of play-in game contention by them no mater what happened.

So while the Bulls need to manage the relationship and a winning season would sure help solidify things, if you like Zach and want him on the team long term, things are only looking better and better given the way the last few weeks played out.
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Re: Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency 

Post#2 » by MrSparkle » Tue Aug 17, 2021 8:15 pm

Him leaving is a completely absurd take, in my honest opinion.

If he wants to refuse a max offer after all the "win now" attempts (you really couldn't do anymore with the assets we had), then let him leave. He's not Michael Jordan. At some point, it's on him to co-lead this club to some nice wins, and either he helps makes it happen or he doesn't.

If this team sucks, I'm very inclined to say it's because Zach just isn't that good. I am positive that if he was replaced with Durant or Lebron, this team would probably make the Eastern finals.

Anyway, it's going to be an interesting year. I do think the team is built for a strong season. I'd be more worried about 2023 and beyond, but I also have faith that AKME won't be scared to keep shuffling the board.
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Re: Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency 

Post#3 » by umfan83 » Tue Aug 17, 2021 8:26 pm

gf2020hotmail wrote:LONG POST, but TLDR summation -- Zach's incredibly likely to leave next off-season


I think you need to revise that first line of your post lol. Otherwise great breakdown
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Re: Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency 

Post#4 » by MrSparkle » Tue Aug 17, 2021 8:27 pm

umfan83 wrote:
gf2020hotmail wrote:LONG POST, but TLDR summation -- Zach's incredibly likely to leave next off-season


I think you need to revise that first line of your post lol. Otherwise great breakdown


The thesis was a 180. :lol:
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Re: Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency 

Post#5 » by BigJimFinn » Tue Aug 17, 2021 8:30 pm

gf2020hotmail wrote:LONG POST, but TLDR summation -- Zach's incredibly likely to leave next off-season


I read your very good long post, and have to say your summation is slightly out of sync with the rest :wink:
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Re: Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency 

Post#6 » by Michael Jackson » Tue Aug 17, 2021 8:34 pm

I too was thrown for the a loop reading the TLDR... I was waiting for the explanation of likelihood lol .
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Re: Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency 

Post#7 » by sco » Tue Aug 17, 2021 8:54 pm

I think in the "new NBA", it almost doesn't matter if a team signs a player to a long-term deal, if the player wants out, he can just make a stink (like AD) and he'll eventually get traded (probably where he wants to go).
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Re: Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency 

Post#8 » by HomoSapien » Tue Aug 17, 2021 8:59 pm

Good post, thanks for the research. I'll also add that the Bulls have almost no history of losing unrestricted free agents that they want to keep (Ho Grant is the exception). It's just a great market to be in. Additionally, Zach also just seems happy here and I think we actually like him. He's not a diva and he works extremely hard. At his age, we seriously could have him leading our team for the next 10 years.
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Re: Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency 

Post#9 » by ZOMG » Tue Aug 17, 2021 9:12 pm

sco wrote:I think in the "new NBA", it almost doesn't matter if a team signs a player to a long-term deal, if the player wants out, he can just make a stink (like AD) and he'll eventually get traded (probably where he wants to go).


This is very true. A long term deal guarantees exactly one thing - the player getting paid. By someone.
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Re: Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency 

Post#10 » by The Box Office » Wed Aug 18, 2021 1:32 am

I have no expectations for this team. If we make playoffs then LaVine should stay. If we miss playoffs, for 5 years in a row, under LaVine, then it's officially time for LaVine and Chicago Bulls to part ways. We'll see.
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Re: Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency 

Post#11 » by WindyCityBorn » Wed Aug 18, 2021 1:42 am

The Box Office wrote:I have no expectations for this team. If we make playoffs then LaVine should stay. If we miss playoffs, for 5 years in a row, under LaVine, then it's officially time for LaVine and Chicago Bulls to part ways. We'll see.


This is a horrible take.
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Re: Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency 

Post#12 » by Lexluthor » Wed Aug 18, 2021 1:44 am

sco wrote:I think in the "new NBA", it almost doesn't matter if a team signs a player to a long-term deal, if the player wants out, he can just make a stink (like AD) and he'll eventually get traded (probably where he wants to go).

The owners don’t have to trade the player if they don’t want to . Look at Deshaun Watson
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Re: Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency 

Post#13 » by WindyCityBorn » Wed Aug 18, 2021 2:10 am

Lexluthor wrote:
sco wrote:I think in the "new NBA", it almost doesn't matter if a team signs a player to a long-term deal, if the player wants out, he can just make a stink (like AD) and he'll eventually get traded (probably where he wants to go).

The owners don’t have to trade the player if they don’t want to . Look at Deshaun Watson


That’s the NFL. NBA has given way too much control to its stars. NFL teams will make a player like Calvin Johnson retire before trading him.
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Re: Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency 

Post#14 » by Jcool0 » Wed Aug 18, 2021 2:19 am

NBA players don't turn down max contracts.
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Re: Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency 

Post#15 » by gf2020hotmail » Wed Aug 18, 2021 2:30 am

Jcool0 wrote:NBA players don't turn down max contracts.

Mostly true but beyond the Lebron, Durant and Kawhi tier, Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Dwight Howard and Lamarcus Aldridge are among those who have turned down max deals and went someplace for a better market or more competitive team. It does happen. I don't think it will here though given Zach's relatively few options.
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Re: Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency 

Post#16 » by BrooklynBulls » Wed Aug 18, 2021 3:35 am

I think our recent moves are basically us giving Zach a reason to stay. I was calling for us to trade Zach before the Vuc trade, because he has an absolute albatross around his neck of being on crap teams that he will want to shake ASAP. If we disappoint this season, I do think he could walk. I think hed even take a short non-max deal to get away and prove hes a winner.
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Re: Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency 

Post#17 » by gf2020hotmail » Wed Aug 18, 2021 4:01 am

BrooklynBulls wrote:I think our recent moves are basically us giving Zach a reason to stay. I was calling for us to trade Zach before the Vuc trade, because he has an absolute albatross around his neck of being on crap teams that he will want to shake ASAP. If we disappoint this season, I do think he could walk. I think hed even take a short non-max deal to get away and prove hes a winner.

But there really aren't many better teams who can get to even 15 to 20 million in cap space. If Boston waived Horford's non-guaranteed money, they could maybe get to 13 or 14 million. The top five teams by record in both conference last season won't have more than the mid level because they will be well over the cap in 22-23 or operating as an over the cap team, nor do the Lakers, Heat or Warriors have space either.

Zach was talking about respect to Windhorst before this off-season and also really got screwed in his previous free agent foray by being restricted in a down market. So there's almost no way he takes a $25 million dollar pay cut to play on a real contender, risk injury on a short term deal which would also give up his bird rights. Agents don't let that **** happen, nor should they.
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Re: Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency 

Post#18 » by kodo » Wed Aug 18, 2021 4:15 am

Zach Lavine's resigning is fake drama. It's 100% because there's no choice anymore.

Media for click's sake wants to say it's a decision between max money or going to a better team. The reality is that these days players take the max money AND can force a trade to a better team. They never have to give up a dime.

If Zach wants to stay, he signs here.
If Zach isn't sure, he signs here. And if he doesn't like in the future, forces a trade.
If Zach doesn't want to stay, he signs here. And then forces a trade.

The only situation where he doesn't sign here is that he regresses so badly the Bulls don't want him.
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Re: Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency 

Post#19 » by DuckIII » Wed Aug 18, 2021 4:28 am

It is a virtual certainty that Zach was consulted by the Bulls and was actively recruiting Ball and possibly/probably DDR and/or Caruso. Zach is all in on this team. All in.

I have always gotten the impression that Zach is very appreciative of the stage the Bulls have given him and that he badly wanted the Bulls to give him a reason to stay. He never wanted to leave. He wanted to be convinced to stay. And that happened.

Zach Lavine’s 2022 free agency is already over.
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Re: Zach LaVine's impending Free Agency 

Post#20 » by Repeat 3-peat » Wed Aug 18, 2021 4:33 am

I have zero worries of Zach's future here. He'll sign a 5 year max at the start of free agency next year.
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