Bulls Notes: Lopez, Porter, Boylen, Portis

Although a report from ESPN on Thursday indicated that the Bulls and Robin Lopez are expected to engage in buyout talks now that the trade deadline has passed, executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson sounds like he expects Lopez to stick with the franchise for the rest of the season, as K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune relays.

“My feeling right now — it can change — is Robin will be with us,” Paxson said. “Our players love him. He’s a great teammate. We don’t feel it’s an absolute given that we have to just buy a guy out to help another team.”

Paxson acknowledged that the Bulls would “have a discussion” if Lopez’s representatives requested a buyout, but stressed that the club loves having the veteran center around. Previous reports have suggested that Lopez would likely sign with the Warriors if he’s released, so perhaps the Bulls’ front office also isn’t exactly eager to help out the two-time defending champions.

Here’s more on the Bulls:

  • In explaining the trade for Otto Porter, Paxson said that the Bulls recognized they aren’t ready to pursue top free agents, which is why they didn’t mind committing future cap room to someone like Porter. “We’re not in the position to go after the big names, the franchise changers. We’re looking at things realistically,” Paxson said, per K.C. Johnson. “We also looked ahead to this summer, and even the summer beyond, at available wings and versatile players. There are no guarantees of getting players like that.”
  • The Bulls remain committed to having Jim Boylen continue as head coach of the team next season, Paxson said on Thursday (link via K.C. Johnson). “We’re working well together,” Paxson said. “Our objectives are the same. Jim’s doing the right things. From our seats, he’s promoting the right message to our players and what we expect.”
  • Speaking of Boylen, during a subsequent appearance on 670 The Score, Paxson pushed back on the narrative about the supposed near-mutiny that took place shortly after Boylen took over as the Bulls’ head coach, writes Michael Walton of NBC Sports Chicago. Despite reports, Paxson said that Bulls players never contacted the NBPA about Boylen’s tactics.
  • While Paxson said on Thursday that the Bulls continue to evaluate Kris Dunn, it’s becoming clear that the team will need to further address the point guard spot at some point, writes Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago. ESPN’s Zach Lowe previously reported that Dunn “was there to be had at the deadline.”
  • According to K.C. Johnson (Twitter link), before the Bulls traded Bobby Portis this week, they offered him a multiyear extension worth $40-50MM last fall. For four years, that’d be an annual average value around $10-12MM, but word around the league is that Portis will seek $16MM annually this summer, per Johnson.
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15 thoughts on “Bulls Notes: Lopez, Porter, Boylen, Portis

  1. Codeeg

    Bulls basically admitting they’re not a team winning players want to sign with.

    • TrueOutcomeFan

      I mean, he isn’t wrong. It’s a situation of his own making, but it wasn’t a bad move in itself.

    • JT19

      I mean he’s not wrong and this is him justifying the trade to some fans who might be wondering why they acquired Porter. A lot of (idiot) fans just think its as simple as throwing money at a player to get him to sign with the Bulls and this is Paxson basically saying players aren’t eager to sign in Chicago regardless of the money.

    • justinept

      In fairness, the Bull had an emerging Derrick Rose to go with prime versions of Deng and Noah back in 2010 — and they still mostly got shut out of the FA market with Boozer being their “big prize.”

      Gar/Pax have done the organization no favors, but this issue predates them.

      And since the only bad words ever spoken about Reinsdorf is that he’s too loyal to his enployees, I dont know that the problem is him.

      Maybe basketball players just dont want to spend their winters in Chicago when they could be in LA or Miami. After all, the Celtics are one of the best run organizations in the league, and an aging Al Horford was their biggest FA acquisition this century.

  2. Djones246890

    In this situation, I would do the classy thing and ask Robin what he really wants. The guy has worked his b@l ls off for this organization, and he deserves to have a chance at winning something — especially because he’s getting older (in basketball years).

  3. unclemike1525

    If I was Paxson I’d sign Enes Kanter for the rest of the season and cut Lopez loose. Then this off season sign somebody to pair with Carter. They can find somebody cheaper than the 14 million Lopez is getting. With Boylen and Forman here, Paxson basically admitted they’re not going to get a Max Player here. So I ask you, Why are they here at all? Inquiring Minds wanna know.

    • Bryzzo2016

      They don’t need another big going into next season. Other than simple depth which is a dime a dozen.

      PG Dunn/Harrison
      SG Lavine/Valentine
      SF Porter/Hutchinson/Valentine
      PF Markannen/Porter/Hutchinson
      C Carter/Feliciano/Markannen

      They’ll have a top 5 draft pick, they’ll have some cap room.

      I’m hoping that they sign Rozier and move Dunn to a back up role. Then just draft the best player on the board. Perhaps Barrett or Morant if they don’t get lucky enough to win the Zion pick.

    • JT19

      Yes they can probably get someone cheaper than Lopez but either way they still have to pay him the majority of his salary. If they just cut him, they’re on the hook for his salary (minus offsetting salary) anyway. If they buy him out, they still owe him whatever they agree on to buy him out for.

      • unclemike1525

        Uh , Lopez is a FA after this year. They don’t owe him crap. Asik and Lopez come off the books but Porter comes on for 28 million do it’s a wash. Felicio is a waste at 8 mil a year for like the next 2 years. Depending on who they draft, might be able to deal Lavine. Seems like he’s not really happy here. But they still have the same Bozo’s drafting and trading so there’s that.

    • Rewane

      Carter is supposed to pair with Markkanen.
      If Kanter isn’t happy about his minutes on the Knicks, he won’t sign with the Bulls, because the Bulls have a more established front court core.
      How do you just make a suggestion about the Bulls’ front court without mentioning Markkanen.

    • x%sure

      Why replace Lopez with Kanter for a few months? The disruption is unnecessary. Yes there are backup centers around to sign next year.

      Getting Porter was smart. Saving capspace to acquire players who will never be interested is not. The Bulls made a decent investment. . . I think in many cases stripping rosters is just profiteering.

  4. stevep-4

    I think Boylen is in possession of some embarrassing photos of Jerry Reinsdorf or John Paxson.

    • Djones246890

      Nah, he’s just the useful idiot that they’re using to tank. I think anyone with an IQ above room temperature can see he is terrible.

      But, Boylen is a legend in his own mind. He’s like that fat, bald, boisterous suburban dad that always shows up to his sons games, and is yelling the entire time.

      Then he has to take the coach to the side to let him know how he’s wrong, and that his son should be playing more.

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