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Robin Lopez would join the Warriors if bought out, but Bulls won’t do so

There’s mutual interest between Lopez and Golden State, but his current team stands in the way.

Chicago Bulls v Washington Wizards Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors need a center, and, when you remove players on playoff teams or under control for numerous years, Robin Lopez is one of the best around.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that there’s mutual interest between the two, and has been for some time.

Golden State has only four centers: Jordan Bell, who is undersized, Kevon Looney, who is undersized, Damian Jones, who is out for the season, and DeMarcus Cousins, who is a question mark from a health standpoint.

Adding Lopez - a veteran seven-footer - would be an obvious move. And the Stanford product, who hasn’t spend many of his 11 NBA seasons on winning teams, would be interested.

According to a report from Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, if Lopez secures a buyout from his current team, the Chicago Bulls, he would join the Warriors, who have one open roster spot.

Unfortunately for both sides, there’s a pretty large obstacle: The Bulls aren’t interested in a buyout. Here’s a snippet from Haynes’ report:

The Chicago Bulls are adamant that they will not negotiate a buyout with center Robin Lopez, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Lopez’s representation has been in discussions with the Bulls’ front office about an exit strategy since late December, sources told Yahoo Sports, but the franchise intends to stand firm.

If the Bulls were to change course and reach a buyout agreement with Lopez, the Golden State Warriors would be his next destination, sources told Yahoo Sports.

But the Bulls feeling that way now doesn’t mean they’ll feel that way in the future. Chicago is clearly hoping that they can receive something back for the veteran center, rather than just let him go while eating eight figures.

They’ll likely hold firm on that stance for a while, since the trade deadline isn’t until February 7. If they have any belief they can get an asset in return, they’ll hold on to him. But if February 7 comes and goes and Lopez is still on the roster, the Bulls will almost surely save a little money by negotiating a buy out - if the Warriors are still at 14 roster spots then, you can bet on him signing with the defending champs.

But one team may try and get in the way: the Houston Rockets. News broke today that Clint Capela will miss significant time with an injury, meaning the Rockets are very thin at the position as well.

If the Rockets try and swing a trade for Lopez, the Warriors are hopeless. But if they can’t, chances are Lopez will be hitting the market in February, and chances are he ends up back in the Bay Area.

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