Hornets Pursuing Suns’ RFA Center Robin Lopez

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Published: July 24, 2012

Still thin at the center position, the Hornets are said to be making a push for Robin Lopez, a restricted free agent with the Phoenix Suns.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Hornets have been trying to get a deal done for Lopez, but thus far have been unable to do so. That being said, the Suns have openly expressed their desire to retain Lopez, but they have not been able to work out a deal thus far. For this reason, the Hornets submitting an offer sheet for Lopez likely would not be an effective way to acquire him; doing so would essentially take care of Phoenix’s work for them, allowing them to simply match the offer.

The most likely outcome of this situation is probably Lopez re-signing with the Suns. The Hornets possess limited trade assets that would make sense in a deal for him; giving up Smith and his very cap-friendly contract would be too large of a price, whereas a second round pick likely would not be enough for the Suns to bite. If a trade happens to be worked out, one possibility could be Xavier Henry and a second rounder for Lopez. After missing out on both Eric Gordon and OJ Mayo, the only shooting guard that Phoenix has on their roster is Shannon Brown, and therefore they could potentially be convinced to take a flier on the 21 year old Henry.

Should Lopez end up on the Hornets, he would likely be used as a backup center whose primary role would be to provide scoring for the second unit and bang bodies with some of the bigger NBA centers. Offensively, he is a strong finisher at the rim and works well in the pick-and-roll game. Defensively, he is below average (opposing centers sported a PER of over 18 against him in each of the past two seasons), but he is probably better suited to defend the post than anyone else currently on the Hornets’ roster and is also an above average shot blocker. If he can be obtained cheaply from Phoenix and for a modest price (around the $4 million/year range), he makes sense to go after. Otherwise, I personally would be wary of adding too much more long-term salary and would look elsewhere for a cheaper, one-year rental and re-address the situation next offseason.

That is just one person’s opinion, though; if it were up to you, what would be a logical contract length and dollar amount for Robin Lopez? Share your thoughts below.

87 comments
Brandon G.
Brandon G.

How can Miller be traded back to the Wolves? I thought there is a rule prohibiting a player being traded back to the same team that traded him in a season.

504ever
504ever

I am assuming Brad Miller's contract is going to Phoenix.

504ever
504ever

WWL TV reports it is a done deal. Hornets give up Dyson and two 2nd rounders to get Lopez (reported elswhere as S/T at 3years/$15M) and Warrick (2years/$8M left). I like it. The only thing the Hornets need to do is find a back-up/3rd srting PG around Dyson's level, which shouldn't be too hard.

504ever
504ever

T-P reporting Brad Miller's contract is part of the trade, too. If so, we are shipping out the Jared Jack trade pieces (Brad Miller plus a 2nd rounder), Dyson, and another 2nd rounder for Lopez while taking Warrick's contract back. I'll take it.

VeezyV
VeezyV

Probably Roberts will be the third backup

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

Please! Say it is a lie! LOPEZ NÃOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! This guy is terrible, a poor player!

Nate
Nate

Don't forget that Jason Smith wasn't half the player he is now before Monty got him. Maybe most of Lopez' issues can be corrected with a great teaching coach.

Jochbe
Jochbe

If we do get Hakim Warrick, imagine the locker room argument he and AD can have over which one had the better shot blocking performance in a NCAA championship victory against Kansas in the Superdome!

Mason Ginsberg
Mason Ginsberg

I have a more extensive post (examining the trade and what it means for the Hornets) ready to go the second it becomes official. The deal isn't 100% done yet.

Kumar
Kumar

The deal is done. I eagerly await your analysis.

Nate
Nate

Dell is the Man! Love the way he's doing all of this with expiring contracts and 2nd round picks.

Brandon
Brandon

Personally, I wouldn't mind if Lopez started and ryan anderson finishes games. Anthony Davis would barely get into early foul trouble. And, look at the thunder.... The frontcourt was Ibaka and Perk, but when it came down to really get buckets, they put in the five best players. It's not who starts, it's who finishes. I love this trade. We do need another shooter on the wing (i.e Brandon Rush or Jodie Meeks). This team is going to be really really fun to watch. I still want to see how my boy Rivers co-exist with Gordon offensively. Great things coming from this team!!!!!!

504ever
504ever

Latest Report. All we give up is Brad Miller and two 2nd rounders! New Orleans -Robin Lopez (S/T @ 3 years $15M) Minnesota - two 2nd Round picks from N.O. Phoenix -Wesley Johnson -Minnesota 1st-round pick (lottery protected) -Brad Miller’s contract Unclear --Hakim Warrick (2 years left at $4M each) [possibly to Hornets] "The teams were still finalizing details, but sources said that Lopez, a restricted free agent, was returning soon from a vacation to take a physical for the Hornets." http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba--three-team-trade-could-lead-to-t-wolves-signing-andrei-kirilenko.html;_ylt=AqxdK4nbvwT1TcG1VK_AmgI5nYcB;_ylu=X3oDMTRsdmhrNmc5BG1pdANMSVNUUyBNaXhlZCBMaXN0IEZQIEhlYWRsaW5lcwRwa2cDNGZkOTFiNTYtZWRkNC0zY2I1LWJkYzEtNjgyNDQzZWRhYmFhBHBvcwMzBHNlYwNNZWRpYUJMaXN0TWl4ZWRMUENBVGVtcAR2ZXIDZDVjMzg1ODMtZDYxYS0xMWUxLWFlYmQtOTVhNTA2Njk1NDg3;_ylg=X3oDMTFpNzk0NjhtBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25z;_ylv=3

Nate
Nate

Nice. Phoenix seems content with eating Minnie's leftovers.

nolaDarius
nolaDarius

A multi-team deal has emerged that could serve to clear cap space for Andrei Kirilenko to return to the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to a league source. The potential deal comes amid reports that the Timberwolves are interested in signing the 31-year-old Kirilenko. In the deal, the Phoenix Suns would send Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick to New Orleans, and the Suns would get Wesley Johnson and a future first-round pick from Minnesota. The source said New Orleans would trade Brad Miller to the Suns. It's unclear what Minnesota would get from the deal. New Orleans and Phoenix discussed a similar four-team trade last week, with Boston and Houston replacing Minnesota, but the Suns pulled out as the deal fell apart. That's when the Timberwolves entered the picture.

macs21
macs21

Why does anyone want Johnson? He's rubbish. He's basically a more expensive Darius Miller/Xavier Henry

Hornets686
Hornets686

Here's the best idea... New Orleans - Robin Lopez - Luke Ridnour - Wesley Johnson Minnesota - Greivis Vasquez - Hakim Warrick - Hornets 2nd Round Picks Phoenix - Xavier Henry - Minnesota 1st-round pick - Brad Miller’s contract - Jerome Dyson T'Wolves would save money, we'd get a veteran PG who's has ties to Monty Williams from Portland which would be a great veteran for Rivers to learn from, and the Suns get to move Warricks contract while picking up a 1st for Lopez.

Jo D
Jo D

No way we give up vasquez... Doesn't happen united we get a legit pg in return... Not ridnour

mojart
mojart

Latest: we will send brad miller's contract to the suns along wid dyson

Hank
Hank

Timberwolves fans are saying that Carl Landry would also be sent their way in a sign and trade

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Do they need another PF?

Hank
Hank

they think cunningham and williams are sf's

Hornets686
Hornets686

New Orleans - Robin Lopez - Hakim Warrick - Wesley Johnson Minnesota - Darius Miller - Jerome Dyson - Hornets 2nd Round Picks Phoenix - Xavier Henry - Minnesota 1st-round pick - Brad Miller’s contract

504ever
504ever

Reported or just thinking aloud? We are sure giving up a lot of cheap pieces, which seems unlikely.

mojart
mojart

we really don't have a SF.....hope dell take a look at AK47

macs21
macs21

AFA and Miller are both SF's. Kirilenko wants 6 mil plus a year and he's not that much better than AFA at this point in his career..

Frank
Frank

It's not a bad deal at all come to think about it. Hakim Warrick has two years left on his current deal & the amount is pretty favorable based on his performance. Although Warrick is listed as PF, it would not surprise me if he is at the 3 spot given his size. I assumed Minnesota would be giving up Wes Johnson in favor to have Brandon Roy start, which can be pretty questionable. It's all a salary dump for Minny because they want AK47. As for the Suns, they will be getting a decent sg who will compete against Brown for the starting role. Its a win-win-win for all 3 teams if it goes down.

Mike Wr
Mike Wr

I believe Warrick has just one year left with a team option for the 2nd year. PHX is just unloading dead money by including Warrick in the deal. The guy is a too small for a 4 player who thinks he has a jump shot and doesn't.

Josh
Josh

What about this trade? New Orleans -Robin Lopez -Hakim Warrick Minnesota -Brad Miller's contract -Jerome Dyson -future picks Phoenix -Wesley Johnson -Minnesota 1st-round pick

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

I think that unless there are rules that I am unaware of (likely) that apply to Miller's nonstandard situation, then we can't send Miller to Minne. Tell the guys on twitter or the other board that. It's easy to make trades when you don't have to follow the rules, or if you know all of them. Most of us are not in the latter category.

504ever
504ever

Jason, Can we use any exemptions on Lopez, especiall for his first year?

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

I don't think we can use our Room exception (the only one that isn't for the minimum) with salary to help us directly with Lopez or any signing. I am not 100% familiar with this exception and if it has any special `powers'. I think we can take back $6,025,363, taking into account all committed salary, assuming the 120% scale for the rookie deals, sending out Miller, and using the $100,000 overage allowed for under the cap teams in trades. I do not think the roster charge affects trade room, but if so, we have even less room.

504ever
504ever

ESPN's version: http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/8197304/source-minnesota-timberwolves-phoenix-suns-new-orleans-hornets-discussing-trade New Orleans -Robin Lopez -Hakim Warrick (2 years left at $4M each) [Trade him as we already are loaded at PF?] Minnesota -unclear (Dyson? 2nd round pick(s)?) [ESPN says Minni want cap space so Dyson (cheap salary) and pick(s) fit] Phoenix -Wesley Johnson -Minnesota 1st-round pick -Brad Miller’s contract

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

This deal requires Lopez to make only around $2m in his first year. Two is too low to be real or fantastic. (all three of the most popular uses . . . nerd power)

Josh
Josh

The trade above is the reported trade.

Josh
Josh

According to Wojnarowski, Minnesota is getting Brad Miller. I thought about how that is possible because they just traded him, so I don't know what is going on.

Daised and Confyused
Daised and Confyused

Ok, so the consensus is trading Henry and a 2nd. Others hint at Jason Smith. On Smith, not sure why you would trade Smith for Lopez. Lopez is going to get a starting number at about $7M, so the deal with me in the $30-35M range. At least that is what has been reported. Smith is better than Lopez and is only owed $2.5 for the next 2 years. That doesn't seem like something you guys are going to even consider. More likely is that you will start Smith and bring Lopez off the bench, and Davis is your PF. In regards to Henry, he has shown in his limited career, that he is about as good as a second round pick kind of guy. He isn't a great shooter, and really doesn't do much. We have Brown, and despite the fact he sucks, he is far superior to Henry. So why would we want him. We don't. Your best other player would be Vasquez, but we don't need a point guard. Reports have us working a deal with Minnesota, so it is more likely that you will send Sota someone [and maybe a pick] and Sota will send us someone [like Budinger] and a pick. Yawn. BTW, funny how the tables have turned. Good Luck with Lopez and a big thank you for taking him off our hands!

Hank
Hank

o and you spelled dazed and confused wrong

Josh
Josh

And you misspelled "oh", and you didn't capitalize it.

Hank
Hank

I think you'll probly have more fun with your team full of average and below average players

Mike P
Mike P

Where are you getting your information? A 30-35 million deal for Lopez would be absolutely ridiculous. I'm not saying you're wrong, but to think Dell Demps would pay Lopez a similar salary to Ryan Anderson seems extremely odd. Also, I doubt Minnesota would trade Budinger.. they acquired him this offseason, and I don't believe they'd package him for anything you have. Can't agree more with your assessments of our players, though.

Ben
Ben

BREAKING NEWS: Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Hornets are close to acquiring Robin Lopez in a 3 team trade involving the Timberwolves.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Close-to-breaking news is not breaking news.

Ben
Ben

The Hornets also recieve Hakim Warrick.

Blackajack22
Blackajack22

I just looked it up and saw where Minny was giving up Wesley Johnson and a 1st round pick. I would take Johnson over Warrick. Let Minny take Warrick.