Rather than put all their eggs in the free-agency basket, the Chicago Bulls broke open their piggy banks .
They matched Zach LaVine’s four-year, $78 million offer sheet from the Sacramento Kings last offseason. They traded for Otto Porter Jr. in the 2019 deadline, carrying around the $27.3 million owed next season and his $28.5 million player option for 2020-21.
Some might argue about whether LaVine and Porter should be a roughly $46 million combination. But it may work. Since other franchise columns Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. have multiple years left in their newcomer deals, the money mostly balances out. The Bulls should have approximately $20 million to invest this summer.
They appear to have a good base around which they can build. Even though Carter suffered a thumb injury before Porter arrived, the latter has had the chance to create a chemistry together with LaVine and Markkanen. That trio has produced an eye-opening 6.6 net evaluation across 288 shared minutes.
Especially if Chicago adds another top-five pick this summer, it might be building a formidable 25-and-under collection.
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