Bulls staying with center-by-committee in wake of losing Wendell Carter Jr.

SHARE Bulls staying with center-by-committee in wake of losing Wendell Carter Jr.

CLEVELAND — Bobby Portis got the starting nod last week against the Nuggets.

On Saturday against the Heat and Monday against the Cavaliers, it was Robin Lopez’s turn.

Who starts at center for the Bulls will remain fluid from game to game — at least until the Bulls can find a trade partner for Lopez.

‘‘It’s just decisions,’’ coach Jim Boylen said when he was asked how he will handle the vacancy in the starting lineup created by rookie Wendell Carter Jr.’s thumb injury. ‘‘I’ve laid it out for the guys that’s how it’s going to be. I do like Bobby’s energy and competitiveness off the bench. He can be a difficult matchup for a backup in the post with his ability to spread the floor. All those things kind of go into it. We’ll make those decisions as we go.’’

Lopez and Portis are team-first guys, so their egos won’t be an issue.


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‘‘I think the role that I started in with this team was off the bench,’’ Portis said. ‘‘I know there’s a coaching decision that goes into starting one player or the other, but I would just rather have Robin start so that I can just come off the bench and do what I do, do what I’ve been used to. I like that for now.’’

Portis’ role might change again if the Bulls can deal Lopez. The market has cooled on that front, but a lot can happen between now and the trade deadline Feb. 7.

Speaking of Carter . . .

The Bulls announced after their victory against the Cavaliers that Carter had surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. The surgery was performed by Dr. John Fernandez of Midwest Orthopedics at Rush University Medical Center.

Carter suffered the injury last week in Los Angeles, and surgery was recommended after second and third examinations showed a torn ligament. He is expected to be out eight to 12 weeks, which might be the rest of the season.

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