Report: Bulls open for business; Lopez rumors intensify

Bulls center Robin Lopez reportedly was a candidate to hit the buyout market.

The Chicago Bulls sent Nikola Mirotic to the New Orleans Pelicans last week.

Just days before the NBA trade deadline on Thursday, reports out of Chicago are that the Bulls remain open for business.

Chicago acquired Jameer Nelson, Tony Allen, Omer Asik and the centerpiece of the deal — a first-round draft pick — from New Orleans for Mirotic.

According to a report by K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, trade talks have picked up in intensity for center Robin Lopez and the Oklahoma City Thunder have talked about Allen’s expiring contract.

Allen has never joined the team and will be waived and executive vice president John Paxson said Nelson’s status is to be determined.

Johnson’s report says Chicago is keeping the expiring contracts of both Allen and Nelson in play as parts of potential larger packages. The report also states Jerian Grant has been available for weeks.

Chicago coach Fred Hoiberg was left to describe all the uncertainty around his team after practice Sunday at the University of Southern California.

“As a player, my mindset was to worry about the things I can control. And that’s to continue to try to get better, keep working on my game, and continue to play with the team I was on,” Hoiberg said. “That’s where our guys have done a good job, because there have been so many rumors this year.

“They’ve kept a professional attitude about everything. And I do think, for the most part, we are competing. I really do.”