Chicago Bulls: 5 bold predictions post All-Star Break

(Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, IL – FEBRUARY 9: Robin Lopez #42 of the Chicago Bulls shoots the ball against the Washington Wizards on February 9, 2019 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL – FEBRUARY 9: Robin Lopez #42 of the Chicago Bulls shoots the ball against the Washington Wizards on February 9, 2019 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images) /

4. Robin Lopez buyout doesn’t happen for a while

One player that the Chicago Bulls will miss whenever he is bought out is the veteran 30-year-old center Robin Lopez. According to the Chicago-Sun Times, there is now legitimate backing to a rumor for Lopez getting bought out in sight in the next few days, but this lineup will definitely notice the void once he’s gone.

The buyout rumors surrounding Lopez have swirled since more than a month before the 2019 NBA Trade Deadline arrived. With the passing of the deadline now, the Bulls head onto Lopez longer than expected. A long line of NBA contenders should be ready to pounce on Lopez after the Bulls do decide to buy him out.

The reasons why the Bulls elected to stick with Lopez for this long are two-fold. The first is that he fills the center need for this team in the absence of the injured rookie Carter Jr. Once Carter Jr. returns to the front court for the Bulls, the need for Lopez in the rotation becomes much less dire.

But, Carter Jr. is still anticipated to miss a few weeks with his lingering finger injury. Lopez is valuable to this starting five as long as the depth in the front court is very thin. He’s also a positive presence to help ease the burden on a player like Markkanen and so that the coaching staff doesn’t have to rush Carter Jr. back into the lineup.