Eastern notes: LaVine, Maxey, Vezenkov, Knicks, Prince

Like the Bulls keep exploring the trading market for a possible Zach LaVine deal, agent Rich Paul wants his client to handle the situation professionally and not push for a move or criticize the team’s actions, KC Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes.

“I want to make this clear and clear: the whole idea that Zach has been anything less than professional in this situation is false,” Paul told Johnson over the phone. “This guy has played through injuries. He has represented the franchise with class. A lot has happened during his time with the Bulls and he has taken the high road every time. Does every player get frustrated sometimes? Yes. But Zach is the ultimate professional and deserves better. The Bulls have business to do. And we’re going to let them take care of their business.”

LaVine’s trade value is at an all-time low, largely because of his contract — the three years and $138 million remaining on his deal seems especially onerous in the NBA’s tax-parcel era. He’s also coming off season-ending foot surgery in January, but Johnson reports LaVine is healthy and going through his typical offseason routine after beating the estimated four- to six-month recovery time following his procedure.

According to Johnson, who has heard that the Bulls have presented more than 15 LaVine trade offers to various teams this offseason, Kings and Golden State have shown the most interest in the two-time All-Star. However, the Warriors‘upcoming additions of The’Anthony Melton, Friend LovedAnd Kyle Anderson Johnson acknowledges that this is likely a sign that they are moving in a different direction.

Here’s more news from the Eastern Conference:

  • In conversation with Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sixes guard Tyrese Maxey said management is “doing a good job so far” in the free agency market of adding players who will help the team win, adding that he was pleased that his willingness to wait a year on his own long-term contract helped Philadelphia create enough cap space to Paul George. “When we talked about it last year it was a matter of trust,” said Maxey. “I trusted (the front office) and I feel like it’s worked out for us so far. It’s a cool deal. I wasn’t too worried about it.”
  • Rumors of a possible return to Europe continue to circulate Sasha VezenkovAccording to Michalis Stefanou of Eurohoops, Vezenkov and his former EuroLeague team Olympiacos have agreed in principle to a lucrative long-term deal, but the 28-year-old forward will remain under contract with the Birds of prey (with a cap hit of $6.66 million in 2024-25), so his return to Greece would likely be contingent on negotiating a buyout with Toronto. Recent reports indicated that the Raptors expect Vezenkov to be with them in training camp in the fall.
  • Since they agreed to an early version of the Mikal Bridges trade last week, the Knicks tried to expand it and make it clear to the Nets that they would eventually come back with more details, writes Fred Katz of The Athletic. Now that New York has amended Bridges’ deal to ensure that the hard cap is on the second apron instead of the first apron, Katz explores what the team’s next move is, suggesting that re-signing Precious Achiuwa and adding another player using the mid-level taxpayer exception should be feasible, assuming Achiuwa’s price is modest enough.
  • Following the news that the males have agreed to sign Bull PrinceEric Nehm of The Athletic wonders what the veteran forward has to offer Milwaukee. According to him, Prince is a good fit for the squad and will see regular playing time next season.

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