At one point during the regular season, the Bulls were considered championship contenders, but injuries to Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso derailed any momentum in Chicago. They were dismantled by the Bucks in the first round of the playoffs, leading to questions regarding the team’s future.
Many believed the Bulls were the favorite to be the team LaVine plays for this upcoming season, but feelings around the Association have begun to turn. According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, Atlanta is seen by multiple league sources as a potential free agent destination for the Washington native.
The Hawks wouldn’t be able to give LaVine the lucrative contract that he so desires, but they could still give him a max salary. The Bulls star can make up to $157.4 million over four years with a new team, while Chicago can offer him $212.3 million over five years. However, that’s not considering any sign-and-trade scenarios.
LaVine likely wants to make as much money as he possibly can, while the Bulls don’t want him to just walk in free agency, leaving them empty-handed. The Hawks would have to clear cap space regardless if they want to acquire LaVine, so a sign-and-trade seems most likely if Atlanta is in play.
Coming off back-to-back All-Star appearances, LaVine is the secondary scorer the Hawks desperately need to pair with Trae Young. In his last two seasons with Chicago, he averaged 25.8 points on 49.1% shooting from the field and 40.4% from beyond the arc while adding 4.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game.
The Hawks would love to have someone like LaVine play next to their superstar point guard, and unlike DeRozen in Chicago, Young will be able to facilitate more opportunities for LaVine. DeRozen is strictly a mid-range, isolation player, while Ice Trae can break down defenses off the dribble and get LaVine involved from the wing.
I would much rather the Hawks give LaVine a max contract than someone like Deandre Ayton, who Fischer also mentions as a possible target for Atlanta.
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