Bulls won't budge on buyout negotiations with Robin Lopez, report says

Robin Lopez reportedly is doing what he can to get out of Chicago, but the Bulls aren’t budging on a buyout negotiation.

According to Yahoo Sports, Lopez’s agents have been trying to work with the Bulls on a buyout option for the center, but the Bulls aren’t willing to let him go unless there is a trade involved.

Should the Bulls change their mind and be willing to negotiate with Lopez, his desired team is the Warriors, according to the report.

“I’m not heavily involved in [buyout talks] because I try to stay focused in on the day-to-day,” Lopez told Yahoo Sports. “My [agent] keeps me informed of the bigger bullet points, abreast of the more important news.”

Lopez, 30, currently is the oldest player on the Bulls’ roster this season, and the Bulls want him to stay in Chicago as a leader and mentor to their young core.

“I’m invested in these guys,” Lopez said. “My teammates are invested in me, and I’m invested in them. You never know what’s going to happen in the NBA. It’s a business, so you’re kind of prepared for any other options. But right now, I’m focused on doing what I can to help this Bulls team.”

Despite trying to be there for his team, Lopez was honest about wanting to be on a winning team this late in his career. The Bulls currently have the fourth-worst record in the league.

“I don’t think there’s an NBA player that doesn’t want to be on a winning team, a playoff team,” Lopez said after Friday’s 146-109 loss to the Warriors. “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.”

Lopez is in the final season of a four-year, $54 million deal he signed with the Knicks in 2015. He was traded to the Bulls in 2016 and is owed $14.3 million for this season.

He has averaged 5.6 points and 2.5 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per game this season, with the minutes being his fewest since his fourth year in the league.