Even though their playoff run ended prematurely, the Bulls come from a remarkable 2021-22 NBA season. The team did a great job in the offseason, landing the likes of DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball.
They were certainly the kind of help Zach LaVine needed to led Chicago to the playoffs. The Bulls finished sixth in the East this season, setting up a meeting against the reigning champions Bucks that didn't end well.
Milwaukee won the series 4-1, making clear the Bulls are a work in progress. But the team's resurgence could take a step back this summer, as the future of LaVine is drawing a lot of speculation.
LaVar Ball believes Zach LaVine is 'gone' from Chicago, LA next for him
LaVine will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason and, despite he can sign a five-year, $213 million extension with the Bulls, LaVar Ball thinks he is not staying in Chicago. Instead, he sees LaVine in LA next season.
“He’s gone, and I’m gonna tell you why,” Ball said in an interview with David Kaplan, before explaining that DeRozan's rise may have overshadowed him. “OK, it started off 'Zach LaVine, Zach LaVine, Zach LaVine.' OK, now you get hurt, a few things happen, and guess who’s doing all the big plays? All I hear is DeMar. DeMar, DeMar, DeMar. He (LaVine) doesn’t want to play second fiddle.
"And who doesn’t want to go to L.A.? (If) he (LaVine) wants to go back to the West Coast, he'd be like, 'Yeah, I'm from [Seattle]' ... If he got a chance to go there? I guarantee you he ain't no fool. Because he's like this: 'I'm in LA, even when I get paid, I know I can do some commercials or something.'"
While his opinion could be interesting given that his son Lonzo plays in Chicago as well, it would be better to take this with a grain of salt, just in case. After all, it's not the first time LaVar makes this kind of statement.
Ball also talked about LA in general, so he could be referring to either the Clippers or the Lakers - although it would make more sense if he meant the latter. What we do know is that LaVine hasn't ruled out any option, as he said after the Bulls' elimination that he wanted to "enjoy" free agency. "We're going to have to experience A through Z without making any fast decisions," he said.