LaVine returning to Bulls on five-year deal

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Zach LaVine is staying with the Bulls after signing a max contract
Zach LaVine is staying with the Bulls after signing a max contract

Zach LaVine will be staying with the Chicago Bulls after the All-Star guard agreed to a five-year, $215.2million maximum extension on Friday.

LaVine's agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, confirmed the agreement to The Athletic. The deal contains a player option for nearly $49m in the final year.

Acquired from Minnesota in 2017 as part of a draft-day trade that sent six-time All-Star Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves, LaVine has emerged as one of the NBA's most consistent scorers during his time in Chicago. The 27-year-old joined the legendary Michael Jordan as the only players in franchise history to average 23 or more points per game in four consecutive seasons after averaging 24.4 per game in 2021-22.

LaVine also shot 38.9 per cent from three-point range and 85.3 per cent from the free throw line this past season to earn his second straight All-Star nod and help the Bulls reach the playoffs for the first time since 2016-17.

By retaining LaVine, the Bulls keep a core intact that also consists of 2021-22 All-Star DeMar DeRozan, center Nikola Vucevic and playmaking point guard Lonzo Ball. That group led Chicago to a 46-36 finish last season, their most victories since 2014-15, and a sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.

LaVine was hampered down the stretch of last season by a left knee injury and underwent surgery in May, but is expected to be fully recovered in time for training camp.

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