Chicago Bulls

The rebuilding Bulls won't play on Christmas Day for the first time since 2009

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USA TODAY

The rebuilding Bulls won't play on Christmas Day for the first time since 2009

You won't need to schedule Christmas Day mass or dinner around the Bulls this year.

For the first time since 2009 the Bulls won't play on Christmas, a stark reality that this year's team is in for a long season.

The Bulls are 13-8 all-time on Christmas Day, and had won three of their last four games on the holiday.

But an offseason that saw Jimmy Butler dealt to the Timberwolves and Rajon Rondo leave in free agency meant little room available on national TV, despite the Bulls touting the league's third biggest TV market. Here's a look back at the Bulls' history on Christmas Day.

It also, of course, means for now that Dwyane Wade won't be playing on Christmas. Wade ranks second on the all-time Christmas Day scoring list and had played on each of the last eight Christmases. If he isn't bought out (more likely) or traded (less likely), he'll have the day to himself for the first time since 2009.

Here's the complete Christmas Day schedule (central time):

76ers at Knicks
Cavalaiers at Warriors
Wizards at Celtics
Rockets at Thunder
Timberwolves at Lakers

Bulls avoid awkwardness with Dwyane Wade buyout

Bulls avoid awkwardness with Dwyane Wade buyout

The last domino to fall in the NBA’s summer of upheaval was Dwyane Wade’s buyout from the Bulls, as he and the Bulls avoided a hairy situation by coming to an agreement Sunday night that grants Wade his freedom from what was sure to look like basketball purgatory this coming season.

Wade would’ve been forced to answer questions about his future had he still been on the roster for Media Day, but the awkwardness on Monday only stemmed from the Bulls front office speaking so highly of Wade’s time in Chicago.

There was certainly a feeling that Wade believed Jimmy Butler would still be on the roster when he picked up his option for this season, the day before Butler was traded to Minnesota on draft day.

It was likely Wade would’ve picked up his option regardless, a smart move considering the way the free agent money quickly dried up, and it would’ve been difficult to see a team shelling out over $20 million for a 36-year old who, on occasion, can carry a good team to fourth-quarter wins.

He didn’t have the long-lasting impact he hoped to achieve, as he, Butler and Rajon Rondo each took turns in the center of controversy—sometimes together.

That will not be the case for the Three Alphas this year, as the only thing close to that on the podium was John Paxson, Gar Forman and head coach Fred Hoiberg. It was a far cry to the cautious optimism that surrounded the team one year ago, and certainly a disparate view from the past six seasons when they felt the breaks of the game can lead to championship contention.

“We have nothing but good things to say about him – professional, great player, can still play the game,” said Paxson, Bulls Executive Vice-President. “We wish him well, and we’re happy he’s in a good place and will find a situation that’s best for him.”

The best situation for Wade seems to point to Cleveland, as the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder are also in the hunt, sources tell CSNChicago.com. Wade could team back up with LeBron James from their days in Miami and be a frontrunner for a berth in the NBA Finals with the Cavaliers for the fourth straight time.

“When Dwyane acknowledged that he wanted to play for a contender and didn’t want to be part of a rebuild, look, we worked with him, he worked with us and it became something we were able to do this weekend,” Paxson said. “Like we said, we wish him all the best. He’ll do great.”

Collecting a cool $39 million—he gave back $8.5 million in the buyout of his $23.8 million deal, according to sources—made his Chicago experience a good one for his pocketbook.

“He emphasized he was proud to wear a Bulls uniform for one time in his life, as he was from here,” Paxson said. “That was something I know he felt good about.”

Wade’s departure leaves Robin Lopez as the highest-paid Bull, as he’s due $13.7 million this season. With one year left on his deal after this season, he could garner interest around the league, especially with the Bulls headed to tank town.

“It’s something you think about,” Lopez admitted to CSNChicago.com. “But that’s why you have your representatives for. I’m looking forward to helping the young guys.”

While LeBron and Steph Curry got all the attention, Robin Lopez may have had the sickest burn on Donald Trump

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USA TODAY

While LeBron and Steph Curry got all the attention, Robin Lopez may have had the sickest burn on Donald Trump

While the sports world was engaged in one of the more intense weekends in American history, Bulls center Robin Lopez got in on the action with a sick burn of Donald Trump.

The NFL and MLB took center stage during their games over the weekend and more high-profile names like LeBron James, Steph Curry and Chris Paul repsonded publicly to the prostests and President Trump, but Lopez took to social media to console the Golden State Warriors Saturday:

Over the weekend, Trump disinvited Curry and the title-winning Warriors to visit the White House like all championship teams get to in American sports.

Lopez, who calls himself the "Screen Powers of the NBA" in his Twitter bio, clearly doesn't mind injecting some humor into the situation.

The 29-year-old center also became the highest-paid player on the Bulls' roster over the weekend when the organization agreed to buyout terms with Dwyane Wade. Lopez is set to make nearly $13.8 million in 2017-18, a little more than Nikola Mirotic, who just signed a two-year deal Sunday.