It was a rather eventful weekend for the Bulls. They got clowned again by the Warriors in another embarrassing effort, and then before they made it seven straight losses on Saturday night in Utah (a game with more clowning, but at least it was close?), news broke that head coach Jim Boylen has received a raise through next season.
We also got some action on the rumor mill.
Bulls won’t give Robin Lopez a buyout yet
We capped off the weekend with Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reporting that the Bulls won’t negotiate a buyout just yet for Robin Lopez. Haynes says the Warriors would be Lopez’s next destination if he gets bought out, but the Bulls are holding out for an asset before the Feb. 7 trade deadline.
This is the right play. The Bulls shouldn’t just dump Lopez now for nothing and let him sign with the champs. They should exhaust all options on the trade market first.
Of course, Lopez’s $14-plus million salary and antiquated game may make him tough to move, even if he still has some value. The Bulls probably can’t get an asset of real value unless they take on long-term money, something they haven’t seemed keen on doing so far.
If the Bulls aren’t able to trade Lopez, they should act in good faith and give him that buyout after the deadline. But for now, they should stand firm and try to work any leverage they may have from other teams knowing the Warriors want him.
Jabari Parker and the Knicks?
The Knicks had been rumored to be a potential Jabari Parker destination last month, and now Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News offered up another nugget involving Parker potentially going to New York:
In trying to find a new home for Enes Kanter, among the scenarios recently discussed — though only in a preliminary stage — was the Knicks bringing back Chicago’s Jabari Parker, a source told the Daily News.
However, a snag in the framework was trying to find a third team to take Kanter, the source said, and it’s unclear if talks ever got off the ground. The Kings could still be an option for that third team and, according to sources, have been separately negotiating a straight swap for Kanter. One scenario is Kanter for Zach Randolph and Kosta Koufos.
The Bulls obviously have no use for Kanter, so it makes sense they’d be trying to get another team involved while perhaps getting some kind of small asset in return. Like Lopez, it’s tough to imagine getting much value back in a Parker trade without taking on long-term money, but this is a situation to keep an eye on. The Knicks want to move Kanter and get another expiring on the roster for cap space purposes, and they can give Parker a tryout as they lose a bunch of games.
Besides the Knicks, Parker acknowledged Saturday he has thought about playing in Utah, where he has a home. The Jazz were mentioned as a trade possibility about a month ago, but obviously nothing has come to fruition.