Zach LaVine will be a man on a mission next season as he’ll aim to prove to the doubters that he’s worth the big contract he was given by the Chicago Bulls this summer.
After the Sacramento Kings presented the restricted free agent with an $80 million offer sheet, the Bulls chose to match it and retain the services of the 23-year-old for another four years.
For a player coming off an ACL injury who didn’t look the same last season, this decision came as a surprise to many people.
But the Bulls believe in LaVine and he’s ready to repay the faith they’ve shown in him.
The shooting guard has big goals for the upcoming season as he’s targeting a first All-Star appearance among other things.
He recently stated that he has his speed and athleticism back and feels like he can perform at his best level this season.
The former UCLA product struggled to get into any sort of rhythm when he returned from his injury last year, averaging just 16.7 points on a career-low 38 percent shooting in 24 games.
He’s spent extensive time in the gym this summer getting in shape and is expecting to have a big campaign in Chicago.
The Bulls have assembled a promising young roster but they’re unlikely to contend for a playoff place again in 2018-19.
But that isn’t keeping the fans away from the United Center as they had the best attendance in the NBA despite a dismal 27-55 record in the previous campaign.
LaVine appreciates the support from their loyal fanbase and has promised that they’ll do everything they can to try and bring the good days back to the franchise.
“Be ready,” he said when asked if he has a message for Bulls fans, according to Alex Squadron of SLAM.
“Chicago is a big-time sports town and you deserve winners, and we’re going to try to get back to the glory days of the 1990s when you guys got spoiled.”
Looking up into the United Center rafters and seeing the six banners from the Michael Jordan era should be all the motivation that the youngster and his teammates need.
It’s an ambitious promise from the ex-Minnesota Timberwolves guard but fans in the Windy City should be happy to know that he’s not satisfied with losing and is prepared to work hard to bring a winning culture back.
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