Robin Lopez is apparently ready to be done with the Bulls, and he already has a landing spot potentially in place. But that doesn’t mean Chicago wants to let him go just yet.
Lopez has a sizeable cap number for the Bulls, who are slogging through a season in which they fired head coach Fred Hoiberg, installed Jim Boylen and subsequently saw the team nearly revolt over the latter’s coaching style.
It’s all a bit of a mess in Chicago right now, which is why it’s no surprise the veteran forward’s management is pushing for a buyout with the Bulls right now. But according to a few sources, Chicago isn’t interested in negotiating a buyout right now. Marc Stein reported over the weekend that the Warriors would have significant interest in Lopez, but according to Chris Hayes of Yahoo Sports, Chicago doesn’t want to make that happen for the two-time defending champions.
Hayes reported on Monday that, despite interest from other parties, the Bulls don’t want to buy Lopez out right now.
The Chicago Bulls are adamant that they will not negotiate a buyout with center Robin Lopez, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Lopez’s representation has been in discussions with the Bulls’ front office about an exit strategy since late December, sources told Yahoo Sports, but the franchise intends to stand firm.
If the Bulls were to change course and reach a buyout agreement with Lopez, the Golden State Warriors would be his next destination, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Hayes credited Stein for the first report on the Dubs, because that’s just how good journalism works. And Stein replied on Twitter with an important tidbit: Chicago might be reluctant to spark a buyout right now, but that might change as the click ticks toward some important deadlines in the NBA season.
Lopez says he isn’t “heavily involved” in buyout talks, but he might be an answer to the lingering depth issues Golden State has often shown when members of its Death Lineup get injured. But with DeMarcus Cousins coming back in the coming weeks and this potential deadline lingering for the Bulls, things could quickly change for Golden State. After all, who wouldn’t want to play for the Warriors right now?
“I think it’s an appealing situation for just about anybody in the league,” Lopez told Yahoo Sports about the Warriors. “You go there, they share the ball, they play defense, they play the right way. But right now, that’s something we’re aspiring to do here. And there’s a certain joy in trying build a culture like that, and I appreciate being a veteran in that position of helping shepherd a team towards that point.”
There are a lot more quotes from Lopez not directly acknowledging the Warriors but making it sound like he’d love to play in a situation similar to Golden State’s. Which makes sense. It’s just a matter of whether Chicago sees enough of an advantage to actually letting that situation play out.