Boston Celtics: Zach LaVine could be target No. 1 next offseason

Zach LaVine could emerge as a prime target for the Boston Celtics. 

In a perfect world, the Boston Celtics will be heading into the next offseason in hopes of landing – or prying – Bradley Beal away from the Washington Wizards. However, there’s no guarantee that Beal even wants to leave the Wizards.

Beal can sign another contract extension with the team before the start of the season or wait until next summer. Either way, if he elects to remain with the Wizards, it wouldn’t totally surprise the Celtics. In fact, it seems like they already have a backup plan in place should that happen.

According to a recent report, in the event that the Celtics are able to make a fair bid for Beal, they will likely turn their attention to Zach LaVine – who can also be a free agent next offseason.

This would not be a huge surprise as the strides that LaVine has made in his game as of late, it makes sense as to why he’d be the next natural target. LaVine is coming off a season in which he averaged 27 points, five rebounds, and five assists per game on 51 percent shooting from the field and 42 percent shooting from 3-point range.

He’s quickly developed into a consistent lead man for the Bulls and has been the heartbeat of the team. If he hadn’t missed time towards the end of last season, Chicago likely makes the play-in tournament.

The big question is whether or not LaVine will be ready for a change after this season. The Bulls made every possible move they could to improve the roster around LaVine. Still, it appears he’s going to play out the season before he signs an extension with the team.

And you’d have to believe that his ultimate decision will likely come down to whether or not the Bulls experience a successful season. But a big part of that will be LaVine’s performance.

If he can pick up where he left off last season, there’s no question the Bulls will be better and will likely finish as a top 6 team in the Eastern Conference. If something goes wrong with the Bulls this season – perhaps with a lack of chemistry with all the new pieces trying to fit together – maybe that changes.

At least for now, it would be somewhat of a surprise if LaVine left Chicago next offseason. Though, it’s quite clear that the Celtics will be keeping a closer eye on his situation with Chicago this season.