“It’s been so much fun playing with these guys,” Lopez said. “It’s something I want to be a part of the rest of the season.”
Players currently on NBA teams must be waived by the end of March 1 to be playoff-eligible, with Lopez opting to stay with the Bulls (17-45). Bulls coach Jim Boylen said a buyout between Lopez and team management was never discussed, though clubs such as the Warriors reportedly had interest in the two-way big man leading up to the Feb. 7 trade deadline.
“I said, ‘If I hear something, RoLo, I will be honest and direct with you on what I know if you’re in a deal or not,’” Boylen said, according to Johnson. “I would love to have him back (next year). But I want him to be happy in his role too. And (Wendell) Carter (Jr.) is going to play.”
Lopez, 30, has averaged 7.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 18.9 minutes in 54 games with Chicago this season, starting in 16 contests. He made past stops with the Suns, Hornets, Blazers and Knicks before joining the Bulls in 2016.