Adrian Wojnarowski: The Bulls and Robin Lopez are expec…

More on Robin Lopez Buyout?

The Warriors have interest in Lopez, a dependable veteran who makes winning plays. But rather than trade an asset, they might wait to see who lands on the buyout market. That’s an option the Bulls have historically frowned upon, although Lopez’s standing within the organization could change that.
The Warriors, like most contenders, would prefer to keep their tradeable assets around and work with the buyout market. Robin Lopez has long stated a desire to play meaningful basketball, something the Chicago Bulls simply can’t offer this season. But Golden State isn’t the only team interested in Lopez’s services. Houston poked its head around Tyson Chandler when word broke of his buyout from Phoenix, and the same goes here per league sources.
The Bulls are working to get at least a second-round pick in a trade for Lopez and his $14 million expiring contract. But there have also been rumors of a possible buyout as the Feb. 7 trade deadline approaches. If teams sense that Lopez will be bought out, there's less of an incentive to give up a draft asset before the deadline. The Bulls would likely only accept another expiring contract back for him in a trade, and getting the money to match up with Lopez's salary presents a challenge. For now, the Bulls position is that they plan to keep Lopez for the season, barring a trade, because of the veteran leadership he provides on a young team. But the situation appears fluid.
“I don’t think there’s an NBA player that doesn’t want to be on a winning team, a playoff team,” Lopez told Yahoo Sports after Chicago was routed by the Warriors 146-109 Friday night. “I feel like I’m kind of smack dab in the middle of the prime of my career. Who doesn’t relish playing in playoff situations? That’s something very appealing and whether that’s something the organization and myself come together and decide, that’s something we want to work towards with this team, or whether that’s something that’s going to happen somewhere else, I’m just going to keep grinding. I think right now we definitely aspire to be a winning team, and I want to help out with that.”
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.
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