Chicago Bulls Keep Zach LaVine After Matching Sacramento Kings Offer Sheet

By John Carlo A. Villaruel
on Jul 09, 2018 08:35 AM EDT
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The Chicago Bulls have made it official on Sunday that they will be keeping highlight machine Zach LaVine next season.

LaVine who had decent averages of 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals in 27.3 minutes per game last season signed a four-year $78 million offer sheet with the Sacramento Kings. However, the Bulls decided to match the Kings' offer to keep the 23-year-old who electrified the league by winning the 2015 and 2016 NBA Slam Dunk Contests.

Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg said that they are very excited to keep LaVine for the long run. LaVine who appeared in just 24 games due to an injury made his team debut on Jan. 13 at the United Center. The new deal of LaVine with the Bulls is expected to include a language that would protect the team should his knee suffer any complications in the future.

"Zach has seen some really good stretches and some stretches as well, but we are going to build on the good times that we had with Zach and try to hit the ground running with him. It's an exciting time," an ecstatic Hoiberg said.

LaVine expressed his excitement to return to the Bulls on social media calling Chicago as his home. The 2015 All-Rookie Second team member joined the Bulls heading into the 2017-18 NBA season after being traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves in a draft-night deal involving Kris Dunn, seventh pick Lauri Markannen, Jimmy Butler, and 16th overall pick Justin Patton.

Great Signing For The Bulls

LaVine who was selected by the Timberwolves as the 13th overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft has been a proven contributor when healthy. The two-time Rising star participant has impressive career averages of 14.0 points, 3.2 assists, and 3.0 rebounds in 28.7 minutes per contest.

Bulls Executive Vice President John Paxson was also thrilled to keep LaVine citing that the latter's recovery from his ACL injury was relentless. Paxson added that LaVine's skills and passion for the game are among the indications that would make him an impact player in the league.

During his stint with the Bulls last season, LaVine displayed some flashes of brilliance not only leading the team in scoring in eight outings but also finishing 20-plus points in 11 games. LaVine also finished 10 straight games in twin-digits. In addition, he also became the seventh player in the checkered history of the league to register 18 points, five rebounds, and five assists in 20 minutes or less last Jan. 15 against the Miami Heat.  

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