By Cody Westerlund–
(CBS) The deadline for the Bulls and guard Zach LaVine to come to terms on an extension off his rookie contract passed Monday at 5 p.m without an agreement.
The centerpiece of the Bulls’ rebuild after being acquired in the Jimmy Butler trade in June, LaVine will now enter restricted free agency next July. The Bulls have expressed how much LaVine means to them and will hold matching rights on any offer sheet he signs with another team.
At media day in September, both sides expressed no worry about his contract situation, believing it’s a matter of when, not if, he signs a long-term deal.
“Whether I get a contract this year or not, I know it’s going to happen one way or another,” LaVine said. “So I’m really happy with the situation.”
The 22-year-rold LaVine averaged 18.9 points on 45.9 percent shooting and 38.7 percent 3-point shooting as the third offensive option in 47 games with Minnesota last season before he tore his left ACL on Feb. 3. He’s made quality progress in his rehab, and he’s expected to be cleared for contact in the latter half of November.
“He can’t wait, his teammates can’t wait and the staff obviously is very excited to get him back out there,” coach Fred Hoiberg said Sunday.
The Bulls also finalized their roster ahead of their season opener against the Raptors on Thursday. Chicago claimed point guard Kay Felder off waivers. He’d recently been waived by the Hawks, who had just acquired him from the Cavaliers as Cleveland had to make moves to trim its roster to 15.
The 22-year-old Felder was a second-round pick in 2016. He averaged 4.0 points on 39.2 percent shooting in 9.2 minutes in 2016-’17 with the Cavaliers.
To make room for Felder and also get their roster to the 15-man limit, the Bulls waived forward Jarell Eddie and center Diamond Stone. On top of Chicago’s regular 15-man roster, it has a pair of two-way players in guard Ryan Arcidiacono and Antonio Blakeney, who will play for the Windy City Bulls of the G-League but can spend up to 45 days with the Bulls.
Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for CBSChicago.com and covers the Bulls. He’s also the co-host of the @LockedOnBulls podcast, which you can subscribe to on iTunes and Stitcher. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.