Zach LaVine refuses to call Bulls leaders to sign him, says he will be ‘open-eyed’ in free agency

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Julia Poe: Zach LaVine on why he’s not committing to anything early into free agency: “I’ve been here for the past five years. I have to do this as a business decision, as a man, just to not be viewed one way. It’s unrestricted free agency. For my family, for me … I have to be open-eyed.”
Source: Twitter @byjuliapoe

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Stephen Noh @StephNoh
I would be stunned if Zach LaVine doesn’t re-sign with the Bulls. He’d be leaving something like $55 million on the table to take the max somewhere else (don’t quote me on that, it’s back-of-napkin math), and he likes Chicago. – 1:29 PM

KC Johnson @KCJHoop
Something to keep in mind regarding LaVine’s UFA: Ownership is on record saying it will pay luxury tax and Michael Reinsdorf said this directly.
“My hope is that he’s here for years to come,” Reinsdorf said. “And Zach knows how we feel about him.”
Story: nbcsports.com/chicago/bulls/…1:27 PM

Mike McGraw @McGrawDHSports
Realistically, there’s not likely to be much serious competition for #Bulls when it comes to Zach LaVine free agency. Pistons, Spurs, Magic have most room. – 1:25 PM

Joe Cowley @JCowleyHoops
The Zach LaVine exit interview with the media … summed up … pic.twitter.com/aa36lO1sgr1:17 PM

Rob Schaefer @rob_schaef
Zach LaVine acknowledges that being a max player is important to him, but that he’ll be paid what he’s worth: “I see myself as a top guy in this league and I think I’ve proven that over the last four years.”
Said details are for Bulls front office and his agency to hammer out – 1:12 PM

Julia Poe @byjuliapoe
Zach LaVine on the possibility of max contract offers: “You get paid what you’re valued at and I see myself as a top guy in this league.” – 1:11 PM

Julia Poe @byjuliapoe
Zach LaVine on why he’s not committing to anything early into free agency: “I’ve been here for the past five years. I have to do this as a business decision, as a man, just to not be viewed one way. It’s unrestricted free agency. For my family, for me … I have to be open-eyed.” – 1:08 PM

Joe Cowley @JCowleyHoops
LaVine asked about taking less money to add help. Said they’ll have to talk to his agent Rich Paul, not him. – 1:03 PM

Julia Poe @byjuliapoe
Zach LaVine says he will go into free agency with an open mind and doesn’t plan to make a “fast decision” but also expressed respect for Artūras and the team.
“I hope everybody understands how much I care about the Bulls.” – 1:03 PM

Rob Schaefer @rob_schaef
Zach LaVine is meeting with specialist soon to determine next steps on knee treatment. Not sure whether it will come to another surgery yet – 1:02 PM

Joe Cowley @JCowleyHoops
LaVine is going to take a week off to “chill out” before dealing with doctors and the knee. – 1:01 PM

Joe Cowley @JCowleyHoops
LaVine said he was putting his team before himself, contract year and all. – 1:00 PM

Joe Cowley @JCowleyHoops
LaVine on getting his knee ready, had to annoy the training staff at night, overtime work, mind over matter sacrifice. – 1:00 PM

Julia Poe @byjuliapoe
LaVine says he plans to fly back to Los Angeles to meet with his knee specialist. He didn’t specify if surgery or another type of procedure is on the table for this summer. – 12:59 PM

KC Johnson @KCJHoop
LaVine said he needs to get his knee back to 100 percent. Said he will visit his doctor in LA and will figure out the best plan of action. – 12:59 PM

Mike McGraw @McGrawDHSports
LaVine says he’ll go see his doctor in LA about his knee and decide the best course of action. #Bulls12:59 PM

Julia Poe @byjuliapoe
Zach LaVine says he feels “a lot better now” and expects to test out of COVID protocol today.
“It sucks, man. Especially with things you can’t control. … It was just a terrible feeling.” – 12:58 PM

Rob Schaefer @rob_schaef
Zach LaVine says he feels much better and expects to test out of COVID protocols today. Already has one negative test – 12:58 PM

Mike McGraw @McGrawDHSports
Zach LaVine says he’s feeling a lot better today after feeling terrible for a couple days, said he tested negative today. #Bulls12:58 PM

KC Johnson @KCJHoop
Zach LaVine, via Zoom, said he got a negative test today but the first two days “he felt terrible” – 12:58 PM

Joe Cowley @JCowleyHoops
A masked Zach LaVine now speaking to media. – 12:57 PM

Jamal Collier @JamalCollier
Bulls VP Arturas Karnisovas is addressing reporters right now to wrap up the season.
On Zach LaVine: “I hope he’s here for a long time.” – 12:05 PM

Julia Poe @byjuliapoe
Artūras Karnišovas on Zach LaVine as he enters free agency: “He knows exactly what to expect here. We have a really good relationship with him. And the last two years have been best years of his career.” – 12:05 PM

KC Johnson @KCJHoop
AK said Zach LaVine’s knee won’t come into play with his UFA status (my words: because MRI showed nothing structurally wrong) and said it hasn’t been determined yet if LaVine will need surgery. (my words again: it’s likely headed that way but I’m told that final decision not made – 12:04 PM

KC Johnson @KCJHoop
AK on Zach LaVine: “What he had to go through the second part of the season, we definitely appreciate him battling and being available every game.” – 12:02 PM

More on this storyline

Joe Cowley: LaVine called his free agency “exciting.” He understands the relationship he has with the Bulls. Going into everything, however, open-minded. Plans to enjoys the “whole” of free agency – “A through Z.” -via Twitter @JCowleyHoops / April 29, 2022

KC Johnson: LaVine said free agency is a “big decision for him and his family” and will take his time and “look at everything.” -via Twitter @KCJHoop / April 29, 2022

KC Johnson: Asked Zach LaVine directly if Bulls are leader in clubhouse for free agency. Said it’s a business decision and will stay “open-eyed.” -via Twitter @KCJHoop / April 29, 2022