For NBA fans excited about this past weekend’s report from Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe that the Boston Celtics could be interested in Zach LaVine, we have some rain for your parade.
Per Kurt Helin of NBC Sports, LaVine to the Cs may just be a pipe dream.
Helin believes that Boston is a backup plan for LaVine if things go sour in Chicago. The Bulls have aggressively upgraded their roster since the trade deadline in hopes of keeping their 26-year-old All-Star.
According to Helin, LaVine is the one free agent that could entice teams to keep cap space available…but that doesn’t mean he is going anywhere:
"How well that roster (Nikola Vucevic, Lonzo Ball, DeMar DeRozan) performs this season will influence LaVine’s decision, but other teams are looking for signs of unhappiness and if they can poach him. It’s going to be a quiet free agent class next season, LaVine could be the exception and teams are watching and waiting. LaVine recently switched agents to Rich Paul and Klutch Sports, a sign he plans to aggressively go after every dollar he can get.Ultimately, LaVine likely re-signs with the Bulls next season. But the Celtics are among a number of teams watching how things unfold, just in case."
Chicago has not been a postseason entrant since Jimmy Butler was teaming with Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo back in 2016-17, where they lost in the first round in six games to the Isaiah Thomas-led Boston Celtics. The Bulls actually took the first two games of that series, threatening to be the fourth #8 seed in NBA history to win a seven-game series against a #1 seed.
If this Bulls team looks capable of returning to the postseason, LaVine will likely be rewarded a max extension. There’s no guarantee their current arrangement can work, though, and with LaVine growing close with Jayson Tatum at the 2020 Olympics this past summer in Tokyo, perhaps there will be a poach after all.