The Chicago Bulls will not negotiate a buyout with center Robin Lopez despite the player's representatives engaging the front office in conversations about an exit strategy since December, sources told Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes.
The Bulls are reportedly hoping to land an asset and are exploring trade options for Lopez's expiring $14.4-million contract, as opposed to losing the 7-footer for nothing.
Lopez claimed he's not been personally involved in conversations with the franchise about a buyout.
"I'm not heavily involved in (buyout talks) because I try to stay focused in on the day to day," Lopez said. "My (agent) keeps me informed of the bigger bullet points, abreast of the more important news."
The two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors would likely be Lopez's next stop if the Bulls decide to part ways, according to Haynes.
"I think it's an appealing situation for just about anybody in the league," Lopez said of the Warriors. "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 toward that point."
The Bulls (10-33) are fully focused on developing their young core, which is forcing Lopez to play behind rookie center Wendell Carter Jr. - who's started all 43 games for the team this season.
Lopez is averaging 5.6 points and 2.5 rebounds through 36 appearances in 2018-19.