Robin Lopez was the one veteran from last year's Bulls squad who is back in training camp.
He's not the oldest player on the current roster, though. That honor belongs to newcomer Quincy Pondexter, who is also 29 but roughly three weeks older than Lopez. Pondexter and the Lopez twins were high school teammates back in Fresno, Calif., class of 2006.
"It's a little bit surreal to be back on the court with him," Lopez said Tuesday at the Advocate Center. "You never know what's going to happen during the offseason. The league's a business. Right now, I'm excited to be here. I'm having a good time playing with these guys. We're all growing together. so I'm having a good time right now."
Lopez feels comfortable in his new role as a veteran leader, saying he learned in his younger days from Steve Nash and Grant Hill. With younger players on the floor, the Bulls are hoping to play at a faster pace this season. Lopez knows that is not his strength, but thinks he can keep contributing.
"I'm not as athletic as other players, but I like to think I'm versatile, I've become kind of a smart big man," he said. "I think I can adapt out there. Right now we're getting to know each other.
"I like to think of myself as a consistent player, you know somewhat what you're going to get out of me. I certainly want to form a kind of backbone on both sides of the floor."
Lavine watches and waits:
Bulls guard Zach LaVine spent the first day of training camp watching from the sideline. But he has gotten plenty of activity while recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee.
"He's either in the weight room doing rehab or when we are doing teaching segments, he's out there on the floor with us," coach Fred Hoiberg said. "Basically in a 1-on-0 workout he has no restrictions. He's doing a lot of extra running. He's been a monster in the weight room
"As far as letting that graft mature, generally from what we understand from our doctors, is it takes a full nine months, which would put us in the middle of November before he would be cleared for any type of contact."
LaVine suffered the tear last Feb. 3 while playing for Minnesota. If he's given the full nine months to recover, then a couple weeks to join practice, the best case scenario would have LaVine making his Bulls debut sometime around Dec. 1.
Wade chooses Cavs:
According to ESPN, former Bulls guard Dwyane Wade has decided to join the Cleveland Cavaliers. He'll sign a one-year, $2.3 million deal once he clears waivers. The move will reunite Wade with former Miami teammate LeBron James and potentially put him in the same backcourt with ex-Bull Derrick Rose. The Bulls officially waived Wade on Tuesday after agreeing to a contract buyout that will pay him approximately $16 million of the $24 million he was owed this season.