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CHICAGO — The Sacramento Kings have interest in pursuing Bulls restricted free agent Zach LaVine, league sources told Amico Hoops.
As a restricted free agent, LaVine can sign an offer sheet with another team and then the Bulls have to decide if they want to match the offer or not.
LaVine was acquired by the Bulls last summer from the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Jimmy Butler trade. He played in 24 games this past season after missing majority of the year recovering from left ACL surgery and averaged 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists, shooting 38.3 percent from the field and 34.1 percent from 3-point range.
The Bulls have consistently said they want to retain LaVine, but the price will matter. According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, Chicago would prefer to re-sign LaVine in the $14 to $16 million range annually.
If the Kings or another team offer LaVine a contract which pays him close to $20 million a season, the Bulls would seriously consider letting the high-flyer walk.
LaVine was once thought to be the centerpiece in the Butler trade, but Lauri Markkanen exceeded expectations in his rookie season and the Bulls are focused on building around him, rather than LaVine.
The Bulls were 27-55 in 2017-18. They drafted Duke big man Wendell Carter Jr. with the seventh overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft and Boise State’s Chandler Hutchison with the 22nd pick.