Chicago Bulls: How the Robin Lopez fiasco can be dealt with

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Jim Boylen-led Chicago Bulls keep finding new ways to impress…and not in a good way.

Sunday night, news broke that Robin Lopez had no interest of being with the Chicago Bulls any longer (shocker) and requested that the team buy him out when the time would come. His goal was to link up with the Golden State Warriors and go get that ring. Unfortunately for him, the front office wasn’t exactly going to oblige.

Things only got more heated during Monday’s practice session:

It’s possible that the buyout news has nothing to do with this, but the fact that they happened so close to one another, it’s easy to draw a conclusion between both events.

While the front office continues to try and move Lopez and Jabari Parker in hopes of draft capital and other assets, there should be some consideration to buying out the veteran big man. Maybe not now, but they should entertain it when the trade deadline comes and goes. He had been extremely professional during the Hoiberg era and the discombobulation that came with it. The front office should grant him that much.

However, it’s possible that Lopez can go to a contender and the front office can get something for him:

This development is noteworthy on several levels. Clint Capela has been a very important cog in the Rocket’s offensive attack and acts as a linchpin in the paint when they play “defense”.

It’s possible that Houston gets by without him for about a month, but can they take that risk? James Harden is the engine behind their success, but they might suffer without Capela. This might require more work out of the reigning MVP, a challenge he would welcome, but may not be capable of.

Oh dear, oh dear. Houston, we have a problem!

Luckily for the Rockets, the Chicago Bulls can offer a solution…

Lopez won’t replace Capela’s production, but he can hold his own when his number is called. As long as Mike D’Antoni doesn’t call for any post up plays for him out of timeouts, he fits in fine. His job should be to rebound and pass the ball out to open shooters and get the heck out of the way when Harden comes down the lane.

With Lopez coming off the books this summer, Houston clears a chunk of cap space. If they win the NBA Finals, it’s basically a bonus. Also, they don’t use Brandon Knight (only played in 12 games this year) and he takes up cap space. In fact, he and Lopez have an identical salary so it actually evens out pretty well ($14.3 million to $14.6 million).

Knight fits perfectly with the Chicago Bulls. He won’t play, which is something he’s used to, and the Bulls should invite the dumping ground title for bad contracts. The first round pick won’t be a high one as it sits in the low 20s. However, you need as many arrows in the quiver as possible to give yourself a chance at a bullseye.

And this is a good way to load up.

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The one drawback is that Knight is on the hook for about $15.6 million next season. So if the Bulls go down this path, they’ll need to understand that they would likely be sitting pat during free agency this summer. It isn’t ideal, but it shouldn’t be ruled out entirely.

If John Paxson is cool with that (he should keep an open mind), then he calls up Daryl Morey and sees if they can help one another out.