Hornets acquire Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick in 3-team Trade

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Published: July 25, 2012

According to the Associated Press, a trade was agreed to on Wednesday that lands Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick in New Orleans in exchange for recently acquired (soon to be retired) center Brad Miller, point guard Jerome Dyson, and two second round draft picks. Mason breaks down the trade and discusses whether or not it was a good deal for the Hornets.

Update: The deal has stalled. Click here for details.

*UPDATE (7/26/12 at 9:30 AM) – Because the Hornets are over the cap, the aggregation of Miller and Dyson may be what is keeping this trade from being finalized. The deal won’t work under the current CBA with the Hornets sending them out separately, since Dyson’s contract is too small. For details, check out our most recent post here.


Full trade breakdown:

Minnesota Timberwolves send SG Wesley Johnson and future 1st round pick to Suns
Phoenix Suns send C Robin Lopez and PF Hakim Warrick to Hornets
New Orleans Hornets send PG Jerome Dyson and two 2nd round picks to Timberwolves, C Brad Miller to Suns*

*The AP report states that Brad Miller is headed to the Timberwolves, but Phoenix Suns beat writer for the Arizona Republic, Paul Coro, has just revealed that Miller will instead be heading to the Suns. This makes sense, because CBA rules prohibit Minnesota from reacquiring him within a year of the date that he was initially traded away (which would not be until next July). Miller plans to retire, and it will only cost Phoenix about $800K to buy him out of the final year of his contract, so this change hardly seems like a big deal.

**Final draft pick terms are still being discussed among the teams, but the framework of the player movement in the deal appears to be set**

Robin Lopez’s Contract Value

The Hornets will reportedly sign Lopez to a 3-year, $15 million deal. This amount is totally reasonable for a 24 year old, 7 foot center with a career PER right around the league average (above average when omitting his rookie year). Also, there is the reality that his value to the Hornets is greater than it would be to many other teams, as the team is currently without a true center and his acquisition will take some pressure off of Anthony Davis. Lopez’s deal looks even better when compared to the market rate for 7-footers so far this offseason. Take a look:

  • Omer Asik, a 26 year-old all-defense, no-offense center, signed with Houston for 3 years and $25 million
  • Marcus Camby, a 38 year old center well past his prime, received a 3-year, $13 million deal in a sign-and-trade to the Knicks.
  • Chris Kaman just landed a one-year deal worth $8 million with the Mavericks

Robin Lopez getting paid just $700K more per season than a 7-foot center 14 years his elder seems pretty sweet. That being said, there is a difference ignored by some between NBA market value and actual value. Likely due to the “you can’t teach size” philosophy, 7-footers have always been overpaid in the NBA relative to actual production. Therefore, while a $7 million/year deal for Lopez could have been seen as “fair market value”, that doesn’t mean it would have been wise for the Hornets to bring him in at that price. If his market price had moved his salary to something around that total, the Hornets likely would have been better served by passing on Lopez and maintaining that cap space for the future as they continue their rebuilding process. Fortunately, that was not the case, and the Hornets inked him for a very cap-friendly price.

“The Other Guy” – Hakim Warrick

The other player who the Hornets are receiving is 6’9″ PF Hakim Warrick. He’s horrendous on defense but a decent scorer, and as a 5th big man behind Davis, Anderson, Lopez and Smith, a team could certainly do a whole lot worse. Warrick makes $4 million next season and has a $4 million team option for the 2013-14 season, which the Hornets (and most NBA teams) would likely decline; this could potentially make him a somewhat valuable trade chip before next season’s trade deadline.

Quick Recap

Overall, this looks like a great deal for the Hornets. My only two concerns as the trade was taking shape was that the Hornets would overpay Lopez and/or send out a future 1st round pick to Minnesota in the deal. As it turns out, Lopez’s contract is solid and the Hornets will only have to part with two second round picks. Unless Lopez turns out to be completely worthless, there is basically no downside to this deal. Once again, great work by Dell Demps to make this trade come to fruition.

Hornets Salary Cap Ramifications (courtesy of Jason Calmes):

Assuming the Hornets are sending out Brad Miller and Jerome Dyson, that’s $6 million in salary, which means that New Orleans were allowed to receive around $9 million worth of salary in return. Hakim Warrick’s $4 million deal for next season plus Robin Lopez’s ~$5 million/year deal makes up the rest of that $9 million amount. As a result of the trade, the Hornets are now over the cap, which means they can now use the “room mid-level exception“, minimum exceptions, and can make trades. However, in order to have cap space for even some of the lower “max” players next summer (younger guys like Harden, Ibaka, etc.), the Hornets will need to not excercise team options or clear some salary.

A couple other notes:

  • Dell Demps the Chessmaster. As Jake Madison noted last week, it always seems as if one move from Demps is setting up his next one. Almost everyone saw the Brad Miller acquisition as merely a way to add a second round pick and assumed the Hornets would just be buying out Miller, who plans to retire. Demps, on the other hand, had other plans. Without hanging onto Miller’s contract to send to the Suns, this trade couldn’t have happened, as the Hornets wouldn’t have been able to send out the amount of salary that it would take to receive Lopez or Warrick. Very impressive work by Demps.
  • Lance Thomas to the 3? Thomas had a strong summer league showing last week, and also earned some valuable experience playing with the NBA Select team against Team USA. I expect to see a much improved Thomas for the Hornets next season, and this trade may indicate that Coach Williams intends to move him to SF to be Aminu’s backup, especially if he decides that Darius Miller isn’t going to cut it. A lineup combination that would seem to make sense is Thomas and Ryan Anderson, with Thomas guarding opposing SFs but playing PF on offense (with Anderson doing the opposite).

Share your thoughts about the trade and what you think it means for the Hornets below!

73 comments
Kempleton
Kempleton

I tried to read the details of our July 13th Brad Miller trade. But, The older posts link at the bottom of the page does not work anymore! Needs a fix guys...

JT's Hoops Blog
JT's Hoops Blog

Sounds like a good trade for the hornets. Perhaps Lopez will have a better time than playing in phoenix. The Suns were not his kind of team as they were more run and gun whereas Lopez is more of a half court player. He'll certainly will get an opportunity to start as the Hornets do not have a true center. I'm predicting that in the Hornets, Lopez will be a dark horse for most improved player. Hakeem Warrick will probably not play much as he will be behind Anthony Davis, Jason Smith and Ryan Anderson on the depth chart. They may put him in the three spot as a defensive stopper, but he wasn't much a defender at the four when he was a Sun. How can we expect him to guard threes such as Rudy Gay, Lebron James, Paul Pierce and Kevin Durant? Anyways, this move certainly gives the hornets a new dimension. they will certainly be interesting to watch.

Hornets686
Hornets686

So the 1st trade would be... Miller for Lopez The 2nd trade would be.... Hornets get: Warrick Telfair Suns get: Johnson Henry T'Wolves 1st Pick T'Wolves get: Dyson 2 2nd Rounders

504ever
504ever

I am a little confused about the hold up in the trade. I thought draft choices ended up negating some salary differences. (As in the Hornets acquiring Henry for a 2nd rounder.) Also, don't we have trade exceptions that we can use to make this trade happen?

Hornets686
Hornets686

Seems like a 4th Team like the Cavs might need to be brought in for this to work!

da ThRONe
da ThRONe

This trade is ok. Little upside and really no downside at all. However all these trades are pointless if we can't get a superstar FA over the next 2-3 years. We IMO have rebuilt to fast(which was one of my greatest fears). Now even if Davis develops into something special(which I've always doubted) in the next 3-4 years we'll most likely be in the same situation we were with CP3. Too good to acquire quality via the draft not good enough to compete for titles and still not a team FA want to come play for. Hopefully Gordon health isn't a concern, Anderson can step his game up and/or continue to feed of guys like Rivers/Gordon/Davis(if he ever becomes an offensive threat), and/or Davis/Rivers can become the focal point of an offense and quickly.

nolahog
nolahog

Sad to see Jerome Dyson leaving. He's one extremely fast man.

Nate
Nate

I hope that with Monty's ability to teach Lopez will flourish with the Hornets, and surpass his injury-ridden brother.

Nate
Nate

The Unibrow and Sideshow Bob! We now have the most destinctive-looking frontcourt in the NBA.

DownUnder
DownUnder

Nothing wrong with the trade since we didn't give up much to make it happen but I don't think Lopez will make the kind of impact that most will expect. The statistics over at 82games.com dont reflect on him too kindly. A lot of his defensive stats suggest that he makes an already pretty bad Pheonix defense even worse and also hurts the teams offense a bit too. His a decent foul drawer and maker and is a nice shot blocker but overall I wont expect him to be much of a difference maker other than to provide a needed big body. Maybe the change in system will help him round out his game more.

Brandon
Brandon

The depth chart is the same. Except maybe Ryan Anderson cones off the bench. But he's still gonna get starters minutes next to Davis. Davis is not playing the 3! Anderson might play the 3 like once a month. Robin Lopez isn't the savior. He's a big body we needed to take fouls and post presence. We still need wing shooting! Great trade though. Can't wait to watch this team!

Jeff the Barbarian
Jeff the Barbarian

Question: You state that we won't re-sign Warrick and most other teams wouldn't either. You go on to write that Warrick is "potentially...a somewhat valuable trade chip." How can both of these things be true? How could something that no one wants be considered valuable at all?

Phelpsalot
Phelpsalot

The Lance Thomas section was outstanding. I believe this is exactly what Monty is trying to do with he and Anderson. I don't believe the team picks up more than one team option next year. Brian Roberts should be our third pg if he does work in camp. Just have to hope X is better this season. I love that we have rashards contract next year conning off the books. Lopez is the perfect investment to protect and nurture our prime piece of the puzzle. Davis will flourish in our system. I may be a little too high on Lopez but a change of scenery should do him good. I think we are on the fringe of the playoffs right now. With a little development from AFA, X, and Rivers this team is good sooner than later. Keep up the awesome work guys.

Roshooter
Roshooter

Thats a terrible trade robin lopez sucks. 5pts 3reb a game for a 7ft is pathetic, and clearly not worth 5 mil year. Dell is to quick make bone headed trades, he should know we need to wait till next free agency with our money . Now we are stuck withe worst half of ugly twins of f*** off for defending.

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

Dell Demps became a laughingstock in the basketball community, while the Suns' GM became genius. I need to take a tranquilizer and accept the fact of seeing Robin Lopez and his ridiculous basketball in the New Orleans Arena with that equally ridiculous hair flicking on the court.

Ron
Ron

Now that we're above the cap, does that mean that XH will become the SG when EG gets his season ending injury?

Hornets686
Hornets686

And Now for the 2013 Draft Pick of the New Orleans Hornets: Alex Poythress - The Next Jamal Mashburn

Hornets686
Hornets686

Say if Landry ends up signing with the Wolves as well... Could you see maybe a sign and trade... Brandon Rush(S&T) for Warrick? If GS loses out on Landry they'll still looking for a veteran big. Or maybe something like... Cavs get: Warrick Wolves get: Bobbie Gibson or Luke Walton Hornets get: Luke Ridnour

Everett
Everett

Great trade. No downside. I still think we need a proven PG and a knock-down shooter, but that trade addresses the huge void we had at center. I've liked Lopez since his rookie year. Good work Dell!

Vern
Vern

Dell has done a great job

Andres
Andres

I think the next deal the hornets should do are extensions for Dell and Monty!

JayRey
JayRey

I would truly be disappointed if Demps didn't win Executive of the Year this upcoming season.

Frank
Frank

I do expect the Hornets will trade Warrick either early in the season or a week before the deadline. The T-Wolves are the losers in this deal due to fact it was a salary dump in order to overpay AK47. There is no way he is worth $10 million a season. I will say this: the front court will be an interesting battle come training camp. I don't believe the Hornets are done yet. Remember they still can do a S&T with the Bobcats for Landry (possible package deal with Warrick given the fact they need depth at PF). The Bobcats can give him more money than Golden State. Also I do agree Redd could be here for the vet's minimum and not to mention you do need some vets in the mix. If the Hornets can get Redd, it will be a steal for them given the fact he still has some left in the tank.

lsutigers33
lsutigers33

We still need another shooter off the bench who can drain the open J.

Josh
Josh

I think we got a great deal. We traded a retired player, a D-Leaguer, and 2 second-round picks for a 7-1 center making $5 million a year and a good back-up big with a contract that basically expires. As great as it sounds, I was hopin that we would have more flexibility next year for a max free agent. Overall, though, we got a good deal.

Kempleton
Kempleton

Great move by Demps! We added 2 decent frontcourt players in Lopez and Warrick and now we have a lot of depth there! I think we have become a legit playoff team!!! Geaux Hornets! With our defensive-first style around Davis, and our new offensive weapons like Gordon, Anderson,Rivers; we are going to be a tough team to beat! :)

nolaDarius
nolaDarius

West 1.Thunder 2.Lakers 3.Clippers 4.Spurs 5.Nuggets 6.Grizzles 7.Hornets 8.Mavs/Wolves East 1.Heat 2.Celtics 3.Bulls 4.Knicks 5.Nets 6.Pacers 7.76ers 8.Magic(with Dwight)/(without Dwight)Bucks/Cavs(my sleeper) Finals Heat win 4-3 over Lakers

andy
andy

Pairing a cheap offensive minded center with defensive limitations with Anthony Davis seems like a wise choice too. Davis can help mask some of Robin's weaknesses.

504ever
504ever

HoopsHype, which is usually very reliable, reports Warrick as having 2 years and $8M left on his deal. If it is 1 year with a team option, that is even better.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

No trade exceptiins. No picks are coming to us, plus they justify not receiving salary back. They do not justify. Adding salary. This has to be done into space or credits from prior trades. We have neither.

malcolm
malcolm

Dude, chill I think you over analyzing the moves. Also, the organization is now stablized and FA's will want to come be apart of something going in the right direction.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

He seems to have tweeted that the deal is not done.

Mike Wr
Mike Wr

Agree with you. Warrick is a valuable trade chip only if the other team wants to get rid of a player with a longer term contract. Kaman, for example, was expiring and the best offer for him was a 2nd round draft pick from the Pacers.

Mason Ginsberg
Mason Ginsberg

His value would come in the form of an expiring contract, since teams could decline that 2013-14 option.

NOLA2020
NOLA2020

He didn't say hornets wouldn't "re-sign" Warrik, he said hornets won't exercise the team option in his existing contract. Big difference. And Warrik has plenty of value to any team making a playoff push.

Jason
Jason

A few things that might help improve your opinion of this trade if you're one of the handful of people bashing it: 1. Lopez's career 6 and 3 per game are in an average of only 14 minutes per game. If he's going to be starting, he's going to play more than 14 minutes per game. Compare Lopez's deal at $5M/year to what the Rockets are paying Omer Asik. Essentially, they're paying $2M more per season for less production (3ppg/4rpg/14mpg). Hell, the 76ers are paying a bloated Kwame Brown (6ppg/6rpg/22mpg = 4ppg/4rpg in 14mpg) more than that this year, and Darko Milicic (6ppg/4rpg/18mpg = 5ppg/4rpg in 14 mpg) has made more than that every year he's been in the league. Lopez actually seems like a pretty damn good value at $5M. 2. Hakim Warrick was an awful fit in every system he's played in since Memphis. In Memphis he averaged in the neighborhood of 11 and 5 a game in only 20-25 minutes per game. His career averages including some years in systems that didn't fit him in MIL, CHI, and PHO are still 10 and 4, and in fewer than 20mpg. That's pretty productive at $4M/year considering the Hornets system suits him much better than the Suns' did. 3. Maybe more importantly, the Hornets gave up NOTHING in this deal. A retired guy's contract, a D-League guy, and 2 second round picks that I'm pretty certain were spares that Demps had picked up in other trades. Getting something (a combined 15 and 9 per game in 20 or fewer minutes per game per guy is something) in exchange for nothing is a good deal. The Hornets aren't committed to either of these guys beyond 2014-15, so the risk is low compared to the deal Asik got from Houston based on one decent season. Consider a 3/$15 and 2/$8 to the time and money Jeff Bower committed to contracts for centers and forwards like Okafor, Hilton Armstrong (he was on the team for FIVE YEARS), and the rotting corpse of James Posey.

Mason Ginsberg
Mason Ginsberg

The Hornets renounced Landry's rights to remove the cap hold for him, so a sign and trade of Carlis no longer a realistic option.

nolaDarius
nolaDarius

jodie meeks and carlos delfino are ufa

macs21
macs21

Correct me if I'm wrong here but we do have heaps of flexibility next year. As mentioned, we'd need to exercize options but if you subtract Henry, Warrick and Rashard lewis from the cap we'd have around 18 mil space. The consensus seems to be that both Henry and Warrick's options will not be picked up and Lewis will definitely be coming off the books. Is that number right Jason? It was just a rough guess based on us being a couple mil over the cap now and subtracting 20 from that (~13 + 4 + 3)

Mac
Mac

WEST: 1) Thunder 2)Spurs 3)Lakers 4)Clippers 5)Nuggets 6)Grizzlies 7)Mavs 8)Wolves EAST: 1)Heat 2)Bulls 3)Celtics 4)Nets 5)Pacers 6)Knicks 7)Sixers 8)Hawks

Nate
Nate

Which makes sense, cause what does Charlotte have that we'd really want anyway?

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Right. With no room and no Bird exception, the sign part is impossible unless he's going for like $2m.

macs21
macs21

Also, thanks for breaking that down Mason

macs21
macs21

Not really sure why people are disliking my comment when it's pretty close to correct and was a rough guess. Other Hornets fans don't like having between 15 and 18 mil cap space maybe?

Cornerstone
Cornerstone

Keep in mind that the cap is expected to rise to $60 mil next year. The 13.7 expiring from Lewis' deal alone should be enough to sign a young guy to the max (ala EG @ $13.6 mil)

Mason Ginsberg
Mason Ginsberg

My rough estimate (in millions): Anderson = 9 Aminu = 3.75 Smith = 2.5 Vasquex = 2.15 Davis = 5 Rivers = 2 Gordon = 14 Lopez = 5 Assuming our roster for 2013-14 consists of just those guys, we should have about $45 million committed. Jason or Mike can give a more accurate total than I can, though.

Mac
Mac

And only the wolves if Rubio is healthy, although they would still suck! Kahn is terrible!

Chris
Chris

^Great news Jason. I also was using HoopsHype and had a completely different view of the trade when I saw that Warrick had two guaranteed years left which is what HoopsHype has. Since it is a team option that won't be exercised, I am fine with adding Warrick for this season. Its nice to have another experienced frontcourt player on the team as long as it doesn't eat into next years cap.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

They are both hosed at times. In this case, SS wins. I checked with the Suns writers who checked with the Suns.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] 20 minutes per night. On July 25th, 2012, the team locked up its answer, as news first broke that the Hornets were acquiring Robin Lopez in a 3-team trade from the Phoenix Suns (completing a deal that took about two days to become [...]