If the Chicago Bulls buy out big man Robin Lopez, he reportedly wants to join the Warriors.
That's a big if, however, because the Bulls are refusing to buy out Lopez as they would rather trade him, Yahoo's Chris Haynes reported Sunday night.
Yahoo Sources: So far Chicago refuses to negotiate a buyout for Robin Lopez, preventing him from joining Golden State. https://t.co/5OXGrgGA4h
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 14, 2019
The New York Times' Marc Stein reported last month that the two-time defending champs would be interested in the Stanford alum if he was bought out. The Warriors kept a roster spot open in order to be active in the buyout market, according to Stein. With Patrick McCaw now in Toronto following his offer-sheet saga, the Warriors can focus on filling out their roster with one more player.
Although DeMarcus Cousins' Warriors debut is near, Golden State is still lacking depth at center. Draymond Green and Jordan Bell can play the five when the Warriors go small, but Kevon Looney is the closest thing Golden State has to a healthy, traditional center following Damian Jones' pectoral injury.
Lopez told Haynes on Friday that he has not approached the Bulls about a buyout. He said he remains focused on being a leader for the young Bulls, but spoke highly about the Warriors' style.
"I think it's an appealing situation for just about anybody in the league," Lopez said. "You go there, they share the ball, they play defense, they play the right way. But right now, that's something we're aspiring to do here. And there's a certain joy in trying build a culture like that, and I appreciate being a veteran in that position of helping shepherd a team towards that point."
Should the 30-year-old join the Warriors, he would reunite with Steve Kerr, who drafted Lopez in the first round in 2008 when the former was still general manager of the Phoenix Suns. Warriors general manager Bob Myers said last month that Golden State "still has a little bit of a void at the five spot, which we have to keep an eye on."
Lopez is averaging 5.6 points and 2.5 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per game, his lowest totals since the 2011-12 season.