Zipser says he’s unlikely to return to Bulls

CHICAGO — In an interview with a German newspaper, Bulls forward Paul Zipser says he’s unlikely to return to the franchise next season.

Zipser underwent surgery in Germany on his fractured left foot in May. The Bulls have to make a decision if they want to bring Zipser back by guaranteeing his $1.5 million deal for next season.

While a final decision hasn’t been made, the Bulls front office doesn’t envision Zipser being in their long-term plans, a league source told Amico Hoops.

Zipser apparently sees the writing on the wall.

“I would not be surprised if they [Bulls] no longer want me,” Zipser told the newspaper. “Actually, I’m pretty sure I will not play in Chicago soon.”

In 54 games in 2017-18, Zipser averaged 4.0 points and 2.4 rebounds, shooting 34.6 percent from the field and 33.6 percent from three.

The 24-year-old says he enjoyed his rookie year with the Bulls, but that this past season wasn’t as much fun.

“The first year was just going very well,” Zipser said. “I fought my way into the team from the beginning and showed how I can help the team. The Bulls just needed someone like me. That’s why it worked so well. We benefited from each other. The second year was not right from the beginning. I was already struggling with my injury. If you have pain in your foot, you automatically go down a bit with intensity. You just do not want to hurt yourself and be completely out. It was then difficult for me to keep my head in the sport. I did not manage that well. Nevertheless, the injury should not be an excuse.

“But I think we had a philosophy in the club that I simply did not like anymore. There were many rotations that would not normally happen in a team. All this change was difficult for everyone and especially for me personally. In the beginning it was not properly communicated to the players. Only later came the announcement that you would like to change something in the rotation, but as a player we could do nothing about it. That finally destroyed the team spirit. Even before that you had already noticed with a few things that decisions were illogical if you want to make a successful season.”

The Bulls were in a rebuild year and went 27-55. They own the seventh overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft.