Zach LaVine is entering the final season of his current contract with the Chicago Bulls and he has publicly indicated that this season will be critical in determining the direction of the team.
"At the end of the day it's a business," LaVine told ESPN on Thursday. "They did what was best for the team and I will continue to go out there and do what's best for the team as well. This season going forward is going to be extremely crucial not just for me but for everybody. Winning would take care of everything."
LaVine said he'd outplayed his contract and he "wanted his respect" in hopes of getting a contract extension this offseason.
The Bulls would have had to use cap space to sign LaVine to an extension to boost his $19.5 million salary.
The Bulls and LaVine did have extension discussions before free agency but were unable to find common ground. Chicago instead used their cap space on Lonzo Ball, DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso.
"It showed they're all in to win and we're transforming the team to be competitive," said LaVine. "We have a whole new team ... we're going to hit the ground running. I was very happy with the offseason."
After not getting a new contract, LaVine left his old agents and signed with Rich Paul of Klutch Sports after the Olympics.