Hornets Pursuing Suns’ RFA Center Robin Lopez

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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.