Trade sending Lopez & Warrick to New Orleans in “Holding Pattern” due to CBA Rules

Published: July 26, 2012

Although multiple reputable media outlets reported yesterday that a deal had been agreed upon between the Hornets, Suns, and Timberwolves, the trade is still in the process of being completed, as it does not yet comply with CBA rules.

Because the Hornets are over the cap, the aggregation of Miller and Dyson is likely 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 to match up with Warrick’s incoming $4 million salary for trading purposes. Simply put, here are the two hold-ups related to trading Brad Miller:

  1. A player cannot be traded to the team from whence he came for a full year (fourth bullet point from the bottom on Q97 here).
  2. A traded player cannot be packaged in a trade with another player for two months after the first trade (in Miller’s case, this date is September 13th; the CBA rule can be found in the 3rd bullet point from the top at the link in hold-up #1)

The solution to the first problem is simple, and was addressed last night; Miller must be sent to Phoenix instead of Minnesota. Since he is retiring anyway and his buyout is only about $800K, this change is hardly enough to hold up the deal. The second issue, however, is a big problem.

The easy solution to this dilemma would be to create two separate trades by simply making a Miller-for-Lopez swap on its own, with the rest of the trade enacted as previously planned. Unfortunately, this scenario is not legal either, due to the amount of salary the Hornets would be receiving vs. the amount they would be sending out. The first part, trading Miller for Lopez, is fine because their salaries are very similar. The other half of the trade, however, would have Jerome Dyson’s minimum salary going out in exchange for Hakim Warrick’s $4 million salary, a move that is not legal because of the Hornets ending up over the salary cap.

There are some possible solutions to making this trade work by adjusting some of the pieces and adding one or two new ones. To take a look at what we came up with, check out our most recent post here

It’s important to note that this snag in the trade negotiations that we are witnessing is more likely a glimpse at how deals evolve more than these teams’ GMs making a mistake. The reporting thus far has made it look like they messed up, when in reality, it’s likely that the initial trade that was made public to us was just a stage in the process of attempting to make a deal. At Hornets247, we are currently working to figure out a way that the trade will meet all CBA requirements with the players currently involved, but as you can see, it’s not exactly easy to do so. We will update you as soon as we figure out a logical answer or hear of the actual solution. Stay tuned!


  1. Pingback: Hornets acquire Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick in 3-team Trade | New Orleans Hornets |

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