In one of the most surprising moves of the NBA offseason, the Sacramento Kings offered Zach LaVine four years and $78 million. Even more surprising: Chicago matched it.
LaVine, 23, has shown promise. In his first season in Chicago, he averaged 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game. Still, few expected he would command nearly $20 million a year on the market.
Surprised reactions saturated Twitter.
Zach Lavine just got PAID. 👀💰 pic.twitter.com/i2UkaAWQvz— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) July 7, 2018
Zach LaVine is getting almost $20 million a year ...— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) July 7, 2018
So tell me again how the Warriors ruined the league.
LaVine doesn't seem too worried about all the attention and criticism he has received since news of the deal surfaced, though. He said he's "used to people sleeping on me," and he's using it as motivation.
Here's what he told ESPN:
I'm my hardest critic. There's nothing that any of you guys can say to me that I [don't] take harder upon myself. I go back and critique my game every year. I'm used to people sleeping on me, and I'm also used to waking them up as well. I'm happy that I have this contract, and I'm happy that I have a little extra motivation to go out there and prove it to some people that don’t believe in me. At the end of the day, I believe in myself, I believe in my work, and I'm going to show the city of Chicago it's a good choice and I'm here to stay. I'm going to be their guy, and I'm ready to do whatever to help this team get back to that spot.