Insider: Bulls’ Lopez would be attractive on buyout market

Veteran big man Robin Lopez has been made available by the Bulls.

Though the fact the Chicago Bulls have made former No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker available via trade has been widely reported, one NBA insider says the team has also made another veteran player available.

Marc Stein of The New York Times reported in his weekly newsletter that veteran big man Robin Lopez has also been made available by the Bulls.

Per Stein:

“The Bulls have made Lopez available via trade along with the former No. 2 overall draft pick Jabari Parker, according to league sources, but moving the experienced center isn’t so simple given his $14.4 million salary.

“There will be little need for the Bulls to keep Lopez, 30, beyond Feb. 7 if they don’t find a workable trade for him, which may set up the former Knick to emerge as one of most coveted buyout candidates.”

One potential landing spot for Lopez could be Golden State, according the Stein. The two-time defending champion Warriors have an open roster spot and Stein reports it’s mostly because they want to monitor the buyout market for potential depth for their bench, even with All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins expected to make his debut in January from the torn Achilles’ tendon he suffered last season while playing with the New Orleans Pelicans.

On top of that, Lopez played collegiately at Stanford and has family in his native California, having been born in Hollywood.

Stein writes:

“The Warriors don’t have the spare assets to engage in meaningful trade business before the deadline. Golden State also hasn’t made a single in-season trade since its championship run began with the 2014-15 season.

“No team, though, is likely to be more attractive to veterans who become free agents in February than the two-time reigning champions.”

Lopez, an 11-year veteran, is averaging 6.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 17.3 minutes in 27 games, all off the bench, for the Bulls this season, while shooting 53.4 percent from the field and 72.4 percent from the free-throw line.

Warriors’ restricted free-agent Patrick McCaw continues his holdout. If he opts to sit out the entire season, Golden State will retain his rights.