Robin Lopez wants to play meaningful basketball, but his current team reportedly has no intentions of allowing him to do so.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the veteran big man is eager to secure a buyout from the Bulls in order to join two-time defending-champion Golden State Warriors. Chicago, however, reportedly has no intentions of letting Lopez walk only to bolster the already formidable Warriors.
“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 on Friday. “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.
Haynes reports that Lopez has not personally approached management about his future.
“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 got an up-close look at his desired team when the Warriors embarrassed Chicago by 37 points on Friday. The former 15th overall pick is playing just 16.3 minutes per game for the Bulls, the fewest since his final season in Phoenix (2011-12).
Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports trading Lopez has been atop the Bulls' list of priorities for the last few months. However, they Bulls are seeking future Draft assets in any deals for their veteran players.
The Bulls, 10-33, are in the midst of a seven-game losing streak and have lost 10 of their last 13 games overall.