Hornets Pursuing Suns’ RFA Center Robin Lopez

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 responses to “Hornets Pursuing Suns’ RFA Center Robin Lopez”

  1. Would love to have Lopez. He is a guy who can bang with the bigger centers and start when there is a slower 3 for Ryno to guard. He will be a good complement to our team.

  2. We should bring in a short-term free agent center to help at the spot. We should also bring in Shaq as a consultant to work with SkyNet and train him on how to eat Big Macs and be ready to be our starting C.

    In all seriousness, I don’t think Lopez will make a difference. A guy like Gortat WOULD.
    After watching Summer League I wouldn’t be too upset to see Henry traded. He’s inconsistent except becoming a black hole when the ball is given to him. I DO, however give him credit at getting to the foul line.

    • SkyNet is the future!

      Unless you’ve been under a rock, you should realize that centers like Olajuwon/Ewing/Robinson/Shaq do not exist anymore.

      The style of play has been greatly influenced by the Europeans. There are only a handful of dominant low post centers, and that’s if you’ve blown off a couple of fingers over your 4th of July break.

      Davis has the size. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t have the bulk. Who can guard Howard/Bynum 1-on-1? Only those two guys. They REQUIRE a double-team. And I’m glad we’ve got one of Dwight’s former front court mates to assist in this.


    • good point. I am high on Henry as a potential baller but he did himself no justice in the summer league so lopez may be a good trade but I know little of lopez other than him being a center

  3. I would defiantly trade Xavier and a second rounder to Phoenix! Its just bad management if they dont take that offer considering their crowded front court and small back court! Wish we could just get him for Xavier but that wont happen.

    If this goes through how many 2nd rounders do we have and could we put together a package for a first rounder?

  4. 3 years at 15 million/

    I’m trying to look at this from a Phoenix perspective and what they would want in return. Personally, the gradual improvement of Jason Smith would be too much to give up for Lopez.

    I’m not sure if Phoenix would really be interested in Xavier Henry unless they think they can develop him. If the Hornets give up a 1st round pick in say 2015 or 16 is that even possible?

    By then, the Hornets would in my mind be one of the top teams in Western Conference with enough development of the young core and also bringing in one extra piece from the free agent class next year.

    If we can acquire Robin Lopez that wouldn’t affect our cap too much, I’d be up for it since we can definitely use him on the bench with no more Carl landry.

    I’d take winning over losing anyday of the week.

  5. Robin Lopez was better last season then n the 2010-2011 when he looked like a bust so if the Hornets get him he’ll have a better career here than he’ll ever had in Phoenix.If Demps see something in him that you so called fans don’t see why not.Next years FA’s crop of centers are lousy except Howard and Bynum but pigs will fly if you think they’re coming here and with a weak draft class in 2013 Robin Lopez could be low risk high reward.

  6. If you’re correct that Lopez would only be a backup center, and assuming there are no other big men signed in the offseason, exactly who would Lopez be backing up at center? The idea of throwing Anthony Davis into the thick of things as a center in his first year in the NBA, until we know for sure whether he’s better suited to play the 4 or the 5, makes me nervous. But I guess that’s the only way you get Davis and Anderson on the floor at the same time, huh? Also, I love Jason Smith’s game, but he also seems to me to be more suited to play PF than C.

  7. No thanks! I’m from Arizona and have watched many robin lopez games. He has been given every opportunity to succeed and has yet to show real signs of growth. He fouls way to often and can never stay on the court to make a difference b/c of it. He is really emotional and gets flustered easily. His stats should be way better than they are considering he played with one of the best fascilitators in the game, steve nash. Also, has a tendency to travel when he gets the ball down low. There have also been concerns about his drive and his love for basketball. I think he plays the game for the money and once he gets a solid guaranteed contract, he will slack off even more.

    I understand we need a center that has some strength and size. But please, I do not want him on the Hornets!

  8. Hornets 24/7 Writers:

    If not Lopez then who? We are running out of S/T, RFA or FA options. Can someone run them down?

    • Courtesy of HoopsWorld.com:

      PF: Carl Landry, Kenyon Martin, Anthony Tolliver, Ivan Johnson, Craig Smith, Lou Amundson, Ronny Turiaf, Shelden Williams, Troy Murphy, Dominic McGuire, D.J. White, Yi Jianlian, Brian Cardinal, Craig Brackins, Brian Scalabrine, Leon Powe, Juwan Howard, Chris Wright, Malcolm Thomas, Hilton Armstrong, Eduardo Najera, Brian Cook, Chris Johnson, Francisco Elson, Lance Thomas.

      C: Robin Lopez, Darko Milicic, Ben Wallace, Greg Oden, Mehmet Okur, Jermaine O’Neal, Joel Przybilla, Kyrylo Fesenko, Hamed Haddadi, Daniel Orton, Tony Battie, Eddy Curry, Jamaal Magloire, Mickell Gladness, Mikki Moore, Dan Gadzuric, Erick Dampier, Solomon Alabi, Keith Benson

      Clearly, there’s not much left at center. I’d rather use Jason Smith as a C and then re-assess the situation next offseason than overpay for Lopez, though.

      • What do you think of trying to get Greg Oden? I know he’s even more injury prone then Gordon but the high reward is there especially if we could sign him for a year or two at a minimum

      • I would think taking a chance on Greg Oden would be the best option.Just pay him the mini and cut him if it doesn’t look good. Also try to add Darko or Lopez to the mix and we have a “OK” group of big men at C.

      • Another good thing about Oden is he’s young, he’s only 24 years old. I’m sure he’d have some interest in the Hornets. Just saying if we did sign him to a year contract and it turns out great think of this lineup healthy
        Rivers, Gordon, Aminu/Anderson, Davis, Oden
        That’s a nice looking lineup

      • I don’t believe Oden is only 24, he is either 40 or has a bad case of bitter beer face… but all kidding aside, thank you Mason for running down our options. I think the options out there clearly outweigh the R Lopez option based on price (we could get 2 of those C’s for the price of one Robin), potential (Oden, Haddadi), and proven if limited production (Darko, Przzzbilla, Okur).

  9. I think he’s perfect at about 4million a year. face it, bigs are constantly overpaid, and to get a true 7 ftr. who can give you 20-25 minutes a game, play hard, defend the post, etc. for 3yrs/12 million or so would be a steal. There are 96 min. to go around between the 4/5 position. You have to figure AD and Anderson will eat up 60-72 a game. That leaves about 24-36 minutes to split between Smith and Davis, not taking into account any minutes Davis/Anderson play at the 3 in certain lineups. IMO, at such a young age, he’s a perfect fit. Henry has no future on this team, I’m down with moving him, a 2nd, and Landry in a S&T.

  10. I’d be willing to trade Henry and a second round for him. If we do that we can always pick up Brian Roberts from the summer league and have him, Gordon, Vasquez Rivers and maybe Dyson possibly as our guards.

    Also a couple questions:
    1. Do you think we’ll pick up Bowles? I really liked his effort in SL.
    2. What are the chances Hornets will look to trade for a SF this season? Maybe someone like Rudy Gay or Andre Iggy?

    • I hope we could but it Ain’t logical,only possibility is quality SF’s like Carlos Delfino,T-Mac,M.Pietrus,Derrick Brown and so on are still available unless we make a push for rising prospects like Tobias Harris and Jordan Hamilton.

      • I wish we could but you are probably right. We don’t have a lot of trading assets. Hopefully Aminu will pan out to be a great player

  11. I’m a Suns fan and my advise for you Hornets folks is to stay away from Robin Lopez. There’s a reason why no other team than the Hornets is interested in him. A 7 footer that cant score, doesn’t rebound well and cant play the pick and roll is not worth the shot.
    The only “skill” that Lopez would bring to the table from my point of view is “rim protection”.
    I’ll be glad if the Suns could trade him to NOLA for a 1st round pick.

    • Lol, first rounder for Lopez? Sorry buddy that’s not going to happen, we actually have a competent GM.

      • Well, we are basically trading Lopez for a 1st round pick coming from Min. Pretty good trade

  12. I would be okay with signing Lopez if we picked up him for $3 million or $4 million for one year. He isn’t a bad player. He likely won’t be part of the team when we start competing, so I would imagine that he is just a stop-gap player.

  13. I haven’t seen to much of Lopez but it seems like the remaining Free agent Centers who are serviceable Starters all have motor issues,desire and lacking passion…I call it the Micheal Beasley effect or the Lamar Odom drop off but giving a new opportunity to show and prove your worth maybe players like Andray Blatche,Adam Morrison among many can bounce back.So if Lopez fits the description maybe a change in scenery and tough love from Monte can jump start his career or whoever we being in,Xavier Henry may need a of scenery too

    • And Monty is a very good teaching coach.

      Yahoo Sports now reporting we send Brad Miller’s contract, Dyson and draft pick(s), I assume not 1st rounders, in a three team trade.

  14. Lopez can be worth $4 million , but if you look at Smith has been improving and could have a better year than Lopez. Although you can argue that Lopez has some skills Smith does not have, Lopez’s contract should be a 2 year deal w/an option (player or team), $8-8.5 million range. If a sign and trade is in the works, it will be likely Henry and a second rounder for Lopez. If that trade works, then the s&t for Landry to the Bobcats could be altered. The Bobcats can either give up Reggie Williams or Gerald Henderson plus cash considerations.

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

  16. 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.


    BTW, funny how the tables have turned. Good Luck with Lopez and a big thank you for taking him off our hands!

    • 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.

  17. What about this trade?

    New Orleans
    -Robin Lopez
    -Hakim Warrick

    -Brad Miller’s contract
    -Jerome Dyson
    -future picks

    -Wesley Johnson
    -Minnesota 1st-round pick

    • 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.

  18. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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..

  19. New Orleans
    – Robin Lopez
    – Hakim Warrick
    – Wesley Johnson

    – Darius Miller
    – Jerome Dyson
    – Hornets 2nd Round Picks

    – Xavier Henry
    – Minnesota 1st-round pick
    – Brad Miller’s contract

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

  20. Here’s the best idea…

    New Orleans
    – Robin Lopez
    – Luke Ridnour
    – Wesley Johnson

    – Greivis Vasquez
    – Hakim Warrick
    – Hornets 2nd Round Picks

    – 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.

  21. Why does anyone want Johnson? He’s rubbish.

    He’s basically a more expensive Darius Miller/Xavier Henry

  22. 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.

  23. Latest Report. All we give up is Brad Miller and two 2nd rounders!

    New Orleans
    -Robin Lopez (S/T @ 3 years $15M)

    – two 2nd Round picks from N.O.

    -Wesley Johnson
    -Minnesota 1st-round pick (lottery protected)
    -Brad Miller’s contract

    –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.”


  24. 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!!!!!!

  25. 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!

    • 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.

  26. 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.

    • 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.

  27. 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.

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