Chicago Bulls Favored to Retain Zach LaVine for 2022

| May 17, 2022 6:07 am PDT

James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Bradley Beal highlight the list of potential NBA free agents for the 2022 season. However, they could all opt into their player option, leaving Zach LaVine as the top player on the market.

LaVine introduced himself to the world with his dunking, but he developed into an All-Star caliber player. The two-time All-Star has the potential to be the star player on a playoff team. He would change the direction of any franchise.

Where will Zach LaVine play in 2022? Let’s see what Bovada has in mind.

Odds for Zach LaVine’s Next Team

Chicago Bulls-200
New York Knicks+750
Portland Trail Blazers+750
San Antonio Spurs+1000
Denver Nuggets+1200
Atlanta Hawks+1200
Dallas Mavericks+1600
Brooklyn Nets+1800
Philadelphia 76ers+4000
Charlotte Hornets+5000

Will Zach LaVine have a new team for the 2022 season? The odds don’t think so, as the Chicago Bulls have the best odds for his 2022 team. LaVine will enter free agency following five seasons with the Bulls.

The New York Knicks will be a top contender for every marquee free agent. Can LaVine become the face of their franchise? If not, a few Western Conference teams could be Zach LaVine’s new team.

Wherever he goes, he’ll likely be the best player on the team. The odds have LaVine staying in Chicago. Let’s see why that’s the case.

Why Are the Bulls the Favorite to Sign LaVine?

The Chicago Bulls have the inside track to retain Zach LaVine in free agency. The Bulls acquired LaVine following the 2016-17 season. He was the headliner in a package that sent Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

At the time, LaVine wasn’t much more than a dunker. In the last three seasons, LaVine has emerged as a superstar.

  2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Points 25.5 27.4 24.4
Rebounds 4.8 5.0 4.6
Assists 4.2 4.9 4.5
Three-Point Percentage 38.0 41.9 38.9

Despite signing DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball last season, Chicago can afford to bring back LaVine on a max deal. Still, it’s fair to wonder if LaVine wants to return to Chicago.

DeRozan had the best year of his career with the Bulls. LaVine still had a great season, but DeRozan was the star player. If LaVine wants to inherit that role, it likely won’t be in Chicago.

Last season, LaVine made the playoffs for the first time in his career. Chicago lost in the first round, but they have the foundation in place to compete for the coming years. It’d be hard for LaVine to leave for a rebuilding team.

Will LaVine Head West to Portland?

The Portland Trail Blazers are beginning to emerge as Zach LaVine’s new team. Portland had a rough season, missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2012-13 season. Portland traded CJ McCollum, but they have the pieces to compete for a playoff spot.

Damian Lillard will return after missing most of the season with an abdominal injury. He and LaVine alone would help Portland compete for a spot in the play-in tournament. LaVine would also be an optimal replacement for McCollum.

This could be an opportunity for LaVine to return to the west coast. He grew up in Washington and played college basketball at UCLA. How much of a factor will that play in Zach LaVine’s next team?

Could the Spurs Land LaVine?

The San Antonio Spurs are in an unfamiliar position. They missed the playoffs once from 1990 to 2019. However, they’ve failed to qualify for the postseason in three straight seasons. This franchise needs a boost, and Zach LaVine could provide that.

San Antonio could form a top backcourt duo with LaVine and Dejounte Murray. Murray took a big step forward last season.

  • 21.1 points
  • 9.2 assists
  • 8.3 rebounds
  • 2.0 steals

The Spurs have the pieces in place, but they can only go so far without a star player. LaVine would be that star player that could push them into playoff potential. It’d be a bit ironic to see him basically replace DeMar DeRozan in San Antonio.

Where will Zach LaVine play next? We should hear more information about his potential decision in the coming weeks.

Nicholas Sterling
Nicholas Sterling

Nicholas has been a Sports Writer with since May 2021. He has a rich sports background, writing about NASCAR, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Golf, etc. Nick is always ready for a new challenge.

He enjoys rooting on D.C. sports teams, including the Commanders, Wizards, and Capitals.

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