Posts tagged “phoenix suns offseason grade

Suns say goodbye to Lopez, hello to draft picks and financial flexibility


After spending four season with the Phoenix Suns, center Robin Lopez was traded to the New Orleans Hornets on Tuesday. Photo by: Road Warrior / Flickr

Multiple sources are reporting that the Phoenix Suns will be involved in a three-team trade with the New Orleans Hornets and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Suns will send Robin Lopez to New Orleans (where he’ll sign a three year, $15 million deal) along with Hakim Warrick. In return, the Wolves will send a lottery-protected 1st round pick and Wesley Johnson to Phoenix. The Wolves will get two 2nd round picks from New Orleans, along with the cap room to sign Andrei Kirilenko to a two year, $20 million deal.

Like with the Nash trade earlier in the summer, this deal cannot be viewed as a straight up transaction of Lopez for Johnson and a 1st. Lopez, a restricted free agent, is more or less being sent away in a sign-and-trade deal.


If the price for Lopez is correctly reported, it seems to be fair-to-good market value for a 7-foot-0, back-up center. After all, Omer Asik — like Lopez, a young back-up center — received three years, 25 million from the Houston Rockets.

Clearly, the Suns just didn’t see Lopez being a part of their future core — or being content sitting on the bench behind Marcin Gortat. Lopez has shown promise in the past, though, and as much as he tends to still be his own worst enemy on both ends of the court, he’s a lengthy big man who can run the floor and make good defensive plays. Last season was the worst of his professional career: he shot only 46 percent from the field and averaged only 5.6 points-per-game and 3.3 rebounds-per-game, all while watching his minutes erode due to the great play of Markieff Morris and Gortat. (more…)

The Déjà vu summer for the Suns

BY KEVIN BERTRAM, blogger     

The Phoenix Suns have acquired a handful of players this offseason perhaps lef by former Houston Rockets power forward Luis Scola. Photo by: Jeff Balke / Flickr

For Phoenix Suns fans, the way this offseason has played out has to feel somewhat familiar: a superstar leaves Phoenix for a larger market, and the front office uses nearly all the cap space to sign decent-to-good starters to “affordable” contracts. This was how things played out in 2010, and it is how things are playing out in 2012.

Of course, the superstar then leaving Phoenix was PF Amare Stoudemire, who picked the New York Knicks after they offered him a max contract with no injury clauses (The Suns, hesitant about what the state of Amare’s surgically-repaired knees would be at age 34, when his contract expired, refused to sign him to a contract without stipulations on how many games he could play in the final years of the deal). The front office letting Amare go was a hard move to understand at the time. The Suns had just come off of a brilliant postseason where they nearly toppled the Los Angeles Lakers to reach the NBA Finals. To replace their All-Star forward would be an impossible task that was made harder by the resignation of then-GM Steve Kerr and the transition to a new management team, headed by Lon Babby and Lance Blanks.  (more…)