Robin Lopez‘s shaky status with the Bulls led to some tense moments during practice on Monday, according to a series of Chicago Sun-Times tweets. Lopez was told prior to practice that his minutes might be reduced and he showed his irritation on the court, exchanging words with guard Kris Dunn, according to Malika Andrews of ESPN.
Coach Jim Boylen removed him from practice for approximately 10 minutes because Boylen felt he was getting too chippy. No punches were thrown, but the incident displayed how frustrated the veteran center feels about being in limbo. He and his expiring $14.36MM contract are on the trading block but the market for him is currently quiet after a potential deal fell through last week.
Chicago is hoping to get at least a second-round pick for Lopez without having to take back anything but another expiring contract to match up the salaries, Andrews adds. The Bulls have so far resisted buying out Lopez in the hopes that a trade can be worked out before the deadline.
We have more on the Bulls:
- The re-negotiation of Boylen’s contract was mainly a show of support by management rather than a firm commitment, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune explains. Boylen had his salary doubled from what he was making as an assistant to $1.6MM. He also received a $1MM guarantee for his $1.6MM salary next season. That still might make him the lowest-paid coach in the league and doesn’t preclude him from getting fired if management has an unexpected change of heart, Johnson continues. It does show that the brass recognizes Boylen is trying to implement his philosophy without the benefit of a training camp or hiring his own staff, Johnson adds.
- Forward Bobby Portis felt Kevin Durant intentionally injured him on Friday, Chelsea Howard of the Sporting News relays. Portis sprained his elbow when he got tangled up with the Warriors superstar. “If I would have done that, I would have got a foul call on me, defensive foul,” Portis said. “I guess it’s just who you’re playing against. Everything is officiated different toward whoever it is, but if you look back at the video at the time, it was obvious.”
- The Knicks have considered moving disgruntled center Enes Kanter in a deal for Bulls forward Jabari Parker. Get the details here.