Free Agent Rumors: LaVine, Harden, Gallinari, Haslem

Just before free agency officially began on Thursday evening, Shams Charania said on Stadium’s free agency show (video link) that he expects Zach LaVine to take a little time to finalize his decision as an unrestricted free agent.

“He’s going to speak with the bulls tonight and they’re going to make an offer,” Charania said. “Both sides will talk in the lead-up to free agency, later tonight, tomorrow. I do not expect Zach LaVine’s decision to be a night-one decision. He’s going to take some time to deliberate. He’s going to have max offers potentially in the marketplace as well.”

A report earlier today indicated that LaVine is expected to return to the Bulls on a five-year contract expected to be worth the maximum. However, it seems the 27-year-old wants to at least gauge his options before officially committing to Chicago.

Here are a few more free agency rumors:

  • James Harden and the sixers intend to meet this weekend to negotiate his new deal, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (twitter link). Harden declined his $47MM+ player option for 2022/23 this week and reportedly intends to sign a new contract at a lower starting salary to help accommodate the team’s reported deals with PJ Tucker and Daniel House.
  • Danilo Gallinari‘s free agent decision could come down to the bulls and Celtics as he considers his next team, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report (twitter link). Fischer suggests Chicago is willing to offer most of its non-taxpayer mid-level exception (about $8MM) while Boston will likely be limited to the taxpayer MLE ($6.5MM), but Gallinari still may prefer the C’s. The veteran forward is reportedly being waived by San Antonio.
  • the heat sent a delegation of employees to Udonis Haslem‘s vacation home in Orlando to pitch him on returning to the team for a 20th season, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press and Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (twitter links). Obviously, the Heat don’t expect to face significant competition for Haslem, but they want to show his “continued importance and value” to the organization, says Reynolds. Haslem is reportedly still mulling whether or not to continue his playing career.

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