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Zach LaVine will remain a Bull after agreeing to a five-year, $215.2 million deal to return to Chicago after his first summer as an unrestricted free agent.

The deal, announced Friday by agency Klutch Sports Group, includes a player option in the fifth year.

LaVine’s contract is the largest in franchise history.

Before this season, the team had never signed a player to more than $100 million.

Despite hearing offers from teams throughout the league, LaVine wasn’t featured much in the NBA rumor mill as free agency opened Thursday evening. The guard emphasized his loyalty — sticking with losing programs in Minnesota and Chicago to lead long-term rebuilds — during his media exit interview in April.

LaVine has been the heartbeat of the Bulls roster since he was acquired in a 2017 trade with the Timberwolves. Averaging 24.4 points per game across five seasons in Chicago, LaVine provided the bulk of the highlights through four brutal seasons before the arrival of DeMar DeRozan. With a prodigious scoring partner and an improved supporting cast, LaVine helped lead the Bulls to their first postseason berth in five years — his first trip to the playoffs.

This offseason was marred by a familiar concern for LaVine — arthroscopic surgery for a left-knee injury, which sidelined and slowed the guard for most of the latter half of the season. LaVine tore the ACL in the same knee in 2016, and injuries have hounded him throughout his career.

LaVine’s health will remain a focus as the Bulls build toward the season. Executive vice president of basketball operations Artūras Karnišovas said the surgery and recovery have been a smooth process for LaVine, and the team expects him to be fully available for the upcoming season.

“I think he’s going to be healthy and he’s now progressing great,” Karnišovas said.

The Bulls made several other moves to bulk up their secondary rotation after the opening of the free agency window, acquiring Andre Drummond on Thursday night as a backup center.

The team also re-signed Derrick Jones Jr. to a two-year, $6.6 million deal, according to multiple reports. Jones was one of the most utilized rotational players for the Bulls last season, averaging 5.6 points and 3.3 rebounds while providing some of the team’s most explosive dunks off the bench.

After re-signing Jones, the Bulls have 14 players under contract. Teams are allowed to carry only 15 players on the roster during the regular season but are afforded 20 spots in the offseason.


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Trade Proposal Lands Jets $137 Million QB to Replace Zach Wilson

Getty New York Jets QB Zach Wilson walking off of the field after an injury.

The New York Jets experienced a nightmare scenario during the first preseason game of 2022 versus the Philadelphia Eagles.

Zach Wilson went down on a non-contact injury and the fear on social media is he suffered a “right torn ACL”, per Pro Football Doc (David Chao).

By video, the news is not good.

— David J. Chao – ProFootballDoc (@ProFootballDoc) August 13, 2022

However, after the game head coach Robert Saleh provided “no update” on his injured quarterback. He said we’ll wait to see what the MRI says.

With that being the case, the Jets still have a 2022 season to play. While it’s possible the team simply turns the rock over to veteran QB Joe Flacco, they wouldn’t be doing their due diligence if they didn’t explore other available options.

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A Lot of Connective Tissue Play
VideoVideo related to trade proposal lands jets $137 million qb to replace zach wilson2022-08-12T23:05:28-04:00

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated was one of many on social media who started connecting the dots between the Jets organization and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

If Zach Wilson’s knee injury is significant, it’s worth noting that Jimmy Garoppolo’s position coach in San Francisco from 2017-20, Mike LaFleur, happens to be the Jets offensive coordinator. And of course Robert Saleh was with the Niners then too.

— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 13, 2022

The Jets have been jokingly referred to as “49ers east” because all of the coaches that came over when Robert Saleh was hired:

  • Mike LaFleur (offensive coordinator)
  • John Benton (offensive line coach)

The 49ers already came out earlier this offseason and announced that this was Trey Lance’s team moving forward. Within that same statement, they reiterated their desire to trade Garoppolo at some point this offseason.

The value of a potential trade hasn’t been what San Francisco has been looking for (which partially explains the long delay). Although this is exactly the kind of situation they were hoping for.

The Jets would only be interested in this trade if Wilson got hurt and he did. Now in theory a desperate Gang Green team could get involved and make a deal happen.

It would likely cost the Jets somewhere between a third and fifth-rounder to acquire the veteran quarterback. There is a need there, the two organizations have a lot of ties, and this could be the perfect band-aid for both sides.

The 49ers would get something for a player that is destined to hold a clipboard. While the Jets would be able to hold down the position at a minimum for the 2022 season.

Backup Plan Play
VideoVideo related to trade proposal lands jets $137 million qb to replace zach wilson2022-08-12T23:05:28-04:00

Wilson going down stinks and there was a lot of promise for what he could do on this offense. However, with him out, there is still a ton of talent on this team.

Connor Hughes of SNY says this Jets offensive line has the “potential” to be a top-10 unit and he even admitted that might be underselling it.

The #Jets had a good offensive line last year. They have since added a Pro Bowl left tackle & guard to it.

Duane Brown – Laken Tomlinson – Connor McGovern – Alijah Vera-Tucker & George Fant has potential to be a top-10 grouping, and that might be underselling it.

— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) August 11, 2022

Additionally, they have an array of weapons from Breece Hall to Elijah Moore to Garrett Wilson among others.

With that much talent at their disposal, perhaps acquiring a proven veteran like Garoppolo could not only keep this season afloat but could have the potential to turn it around completely.

He is a guy that has been around the block and has had a ton of success in this league including bringing the 49ers to the Super Bowl.

The 30-year-old is entering the last year of his record-breaking $137 million contract in 2022. His cap hit for next season is just under $27 million, so it would have to be reworked to make this trade work.

However, if Garoppolo was going to do it for anyone it would be an opportunity to start in a place where he would have a ton of familiarity.

Follow @BoyGreen25 @obermuller_nyj on Twitter for all the latest New York Jets breaking news, rumors, fresh takes, and more!

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