This is how much Matas Buzelis is expected to earn with his rookie contract with the Bulls

This is how much Matas Buzelis is expected to earn with his rookie contract with the Bulls
This is how much Matas Buzelis is expected to earn with his rookie contract with the Bulls

That’s how much Matas Buzelis is expected to earn on his rookie contract with the Bulls. Originally published on NBC Sports Chicago

With the number 11 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, the Bulls selected the 2.08 m tall forward Matas Buzelis.

Buzelis, 19, was born and raised in Chicago. He played one season with the G-League Ignite before declaring for the NBA Draft. With the Ignite, Buzelis averaged 14.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game in 26 games.

Now Buzelis is moving to the Bulls, who will undoubtedly sign him to a four-year rookie contract with the first two years guaranteed.

Keep in mind that first-round picks can range from 80% to 120% of the NBA rookie scale. At 120% for the No. 11 pick, Buzelis’ first contract could be worth as much as $24.9 million, according to Spotrac.

Spotrac estimates that Buzelis could earn $5.21 million and $5.47 million in the first two years of his contract, respectively. Possible club options for the third and fourth years would amount to $5.7 million in the third year and $7.6 million in the fourth year, according to the scale. The top contract in the 2024 NBA Draft is worth $57.1 million over four years.

MORE: Who is Matas Buzelis? Everything you need to know about the Bulls’ newest member of the 2024 NBA Draft

Buzelis was originally a strong swimmer, but after playing a Covid-shortened season at Hinsdale Central High School in suburban Chicago, he shifted his focus to basketball.

However, he did not expect that his sporting career would bring him anything.

“I didn’t really believe I was going to be a professional athlete until my junior year of high school,” Buzelis said in an exclusive interview with NBC Sports Chicago in March. “I was always a swimmer and a video gamer. I didn’t think I was going to be a professional athlete.”

He transferred to two different boarding schools before graduating. At the end of high school, Buzelis was named Gatorade Player of the Year and McDonald’s All-American and was selected to the Jordan Brand Classic and the Nike Hoops Summit.

From there, he decided to play for the G-League team Ignite ahead of the 2024 NBA Draft, opting against playing college. He played a strong season with the Ignite, showcasing his versatile offensive skills as a big man and his unwavering basket protection.

Buzelis was originally projected to be one of the first five picks in the NBA Draft, or at least the first ten. But he fell one pick further and ended up exactly where he wanted to be, with the Bulls.

“I would feel good about it. A local hero!” Buzelis told NBC Sports Chicago when asked how he would feel if the Bulls drafted him. “It would be fun to play for Chicago. I just watched them when I was younger, watching Derrick Rose play. It would be a great experience.”

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