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 |

  2. Josh

    July 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I think we should add Henry to the trade.

  3. Drew

    July 26, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I love what Dell Demps has done overall, but it’s a little concerning that he appears not to understand the nuance of the CBA. Granted, it’s difficult, but it’s part of his job. You guys have been questioning the validity of this trade since the beginning, so why can’t our own GM have figured that out?

    • TBlaze

      July 26, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      It’s not just Demps fault. There were 2 other GM’s in this trade most likely trying harder than us to make the move. MIN desperately wants to ship out salary to sign AK and PHX want Lopez out if he wasn’t signing his offer, so they decided to package Warrick and get some kind of compensation or relief.

      This is the first offseason w/ the CBA… you can’t blame the GM’s for agreeing in principle to trade right now. B/c they can start to adjust their roster and work on possible other moves. They just all saw something in it for them, and pulled the trigger. No one messed up, just the first time a snag has been hit. 95% sure this trade goes down b/c the only “agreements in principle” that don’t are b/c of pending physicals.

    • LuckySunday

      July 26, 2012 at 2:49 pm

      For the record 2 other GMs apparently overlooked this as well

    • da ThRONe

      July 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      Agreed. And one of those other GM is David Kahn we know what type of genuis he is. I understand the type of fanbase we have, but if somebody messed up they messed up and there’s nothing wrong with calling them out on it. No need to make excuses or looking the other way.

    • Ron

      July 26, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      Since the trade was never officially announced, your assertion is monumentally bogus.

  4. Jack

    July 26, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    I would add Henry to the trade and send them a Thank You card in the mail

  5. Frank

    July 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    For number one to work, a team like Charlotte can absorb his contract & would save them money rather than signing Landry. They are at least three teams besides Charlotte that could jump in.

  6. TBlaze

    July 26, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Why don’t we just add Darius Miller to the deal?

    I just think that X is more to this team as a hybrid 2-3 than Miller will be.

    And then we can have Warrick slide to backup the 3 and play him along w/ Anderson in which he’d play the 4 on offense but the 3 on D. This would let Anderson roam around the perimeter on O and drop bombs.

    • Mac

      July 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      I like DMill! He was nervous at summer league but who wasnt?? He will be good, he just needs time. Consider him at Kentucky, he just needs a little more time to adjust, and training camp will help a lot.

      • Chris

        July 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm

        I also think Darius Miller will be fine. Miller is a better defender than Henry already and has a great mid-range game/stroke. He will fit in well here and I really think a coach like Monty will get the best out of him. I do think it will take Miller a little while of practicing with the team and a few games of garbage time to get acclimated to the NBA as you can tell he was a little nervous in summer league, but he wasn’t drafted to be an impact guy from Day One. Put him on the team and by mid-season I think he has more value than Henry and will come at a cheaper price.

  7. Shantadiva

    July 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Why can’t Miller and Warrick be taken out of the trade and Hornets and Suns agree to make that trade in September?

  8. J

    July 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Demps is a moron to trade for a player (Brad Miller) thats not going to play here and thinking he’s going to retire.Then you want to trade him back to his orginal team or Phoenix and it blocks the trade for Lopez lol.Well Demps be gone next year maybe and Loomis takes over

    • Mason Ginsberg

      July 26, 2012 at 4:10 pm

      You are mis-informed for so many reasons. Most of those reasons are given by the post above, so I’ll just explain why you’re wrong about Demps “being a moron for trading for Miller.”

      Miller’s $5 million contract has a buyout for $800K, and the trade netted the Hornets a second round pick. They sent out one second rounder, and got back two second rounders and Miller, who they can just buy out if this trade falls through. There was literally zero risk involved in the trade for him.

    • Josh

      July 26, 2012 at 9:35 pm

      If there were a most dislikes award, @J would win.

    • sean

      July 27, 2012 at 12:07 pm

      What the hell J? Are you on the same planet?

  9. Andrew Denenea

    July 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I don’t think we can wait till Sept 13. Because if PHX signs him don’t they have to trade him right away or wait like 6 months. Like his brother?(Probably Wrong)

    • Mason Ginsberg

      July 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      As long as no one signs Lopez to an offer sheet, he and the Suns can agree to the same deal that the Hornets planned to give him through the sign and trade, and he can be dealt freely.

      • Shantadiva

        July 26, 2012 at 4:37 pm

        Why can’t Miller and Warrick be taken out of the trade and Hornets and Suns agree to make that trade in September?

  10. Bonaparte

    July 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Well at least no matter what we’ll still have “Skynet”!


  11. 504ever

    July 26, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Great article, Mason. Thanks!

    I would not be in favor of adding Henry to the deal, and I worry adding a 4th team may mean the Hornets have to add something else to the trade. How many teams with cap space want Warrick anyway? Zero?

    Also, can Phoenix amnesty Warrick? If so, what are the pros and cons for Phoenix amnestying Warrick?

    • Mason Ginsberg

      July 26, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      The Suns already used the amnesty clause to waive Josh Childress, so that’s not an option.

      As for Warrick… at the very least, he’s a decent bench scorer and an expiring contract, so there could be a team out there under the cap (the Bobcats or maybe even Bucks come to mind) willing to take him. We’ll see.

  12. mojart

    July 26, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    why not the tpups include derrick williams in these trade…..^^,….lopez and williams to hornets, suns get johnson and picks, minny get cash and picks…..if dell can do this….GM of the year coming……^^,

    • Snow

      July 26, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      I’d take Williams over Warrick coming to us lol We can wish right?

  13. LLHOPS

    July 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    • 504ever

      July 26, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      Best quote from that article is the last line: “Expect Lopez to still go to New Orleans. And expect Wesley Johnson and a #1 pick from Minny. How the rest shakes out is speculation at this point.”

  14. mojart

    July 26, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    looks like the deal is dead……like the link posted above by LLHOPS and accdg to and sam amick of SI

    • 504ever

      July 26, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      Except say the opposite of ‘the deal is dead’:

      ” 8:20pm (on 7/26): There won’t be a resolution to the deal on Thursday night but the odds of the trade going through have improved, tweets Coro. The Hornets’ cap situation is not holding up the deal from progressing further.”

      • Jason Calmes

        July 26, 2012 at 11:04 pm

        Depending on Shamsports being right and Hoopshype being wrong (and their total is inconsistent with their listed salaries), sending Warrick to the Bobcats and them sending us Miller makes it all work with just us sending out Miller. Picks may need to flow Charlotte’s way for it to work.

        I’m running through scenarios, and Mason will have some nice writeups tomorrow.

  15. Snow

    July 26, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    I’m sure this deal will go through but IF this isn’t completed, who do you think we’ll go after at the center position? Or will we even go for anyone?

  16. Cook

    July 27, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Can we just offer Lopez a contract and see if Phoenix matches.

    • Mason Ginsberg

      July 27, 2012 at 9:12 am

      Sure, but that’s a risky move. The Suns could just match and then the whole trade would be wrecked. As a last resort, it’s a decent option, but only if the trade totally falls through.

  17. Andres

    July 27, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Does NO have the cap space to offer Lopez a 15M 3 yr deal and see if the Suns match? I believe that after signing Gordon to a Max contract NO doesnt have that much of a cap space

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