John Paxson was all about saying the right things in his Thursday state of the Bulls address: season ending edition.
And why not?
The VP of basketball operations took a full hands-on approach to Year 1 of the rebuild, re-emerging as the face and voice off Bulls management while allowing the target of public ire in general manager Gar Forman to scurry back behind the curtain.
So that meant Paxson had the chance to go on most road trips with the team, watch the coaching staff, witness the growth of a Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen, all the while knowing he had two first-round picks in his back pocket come the June draft, and cap money to spend if necessary.
He spoke like a man who had his pulse on the direction of the franchise.
The one topic that seems to have a bit of a cloud over it remains the pending contract negotiations of soon-to-be restricted free agent Zach LaVine.
It wasn’t like Paxson was in a position to clear those clouds up, either.
“Well, the market dictates a lot and how things go,” Paxson said of the LaVine situation. “I think the market has tightened up a little bit the last couple years since the spike. But we obviously value Zach a lot, and we think he’s a part of our future, but he has the opportunity to explore things.
“Gar will get with his agent at the appropriate time and begin discussions about that, and it will play out the way it will play out. But we think he fits the direction we’re going, and we have great faith in his ability that he’ll have a great summer in terms of his work and his improvement as a player, and we’ll see. It’s up in the air and not defined yet, but we’ll do …read more
Source:: Chicago Sun-Times – Sports