BY KEVIN BERTRAM, Couchsideshow.com blogger
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.
SENDING AWAY LOPEZ
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…)