AP reports that Lopez, Warrick trade for Wes Johnson and pick is done

Posted by on July 25th, 2:44 pm

The proposed three-way trade that will send Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick to the New Orleans Hornets is apparently all but finished, The Associated Press is reporting.

The Phoenix Suns will receive wing Wes Johnson and a first round draft pick from the Minnesota Timberwolves in this one.

Though the AP reports that veteran big Brad Miller’s contract will go to Minnesota, contract rules say he’ll be sent to the Suns, as a player is not allowed to be traded back to his prior team within the same season, Larry Coon’s CBA FAQ states. Miller, who is retiring, was traded from the Timberwolves to New Orleans on July 13.

The trade only has “routine logistical matters” to become official, the AP reports.

The Timberwolves will receive two second-round draft picks from New Orleans along with guard Jerome Dyson while the Hornets will get cash from Minnesota, according to the AP.

Kevin Zimmerman is the lead blogger and editor for Valley of the Suns. He is also editor of AZDesertSwarm.com, an Arizona Wildcats\’ blog, and a contributor at SB Nation and Pac-12.com.

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Tags: Hakim Warrick · Phoenix Suns · Robin Lopez · Trades

65 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jason A. // Jul 25, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Thank you! I can’t believe this actually went through! This was the first news I saw today and I thought it was too good to be true. Woo hoo!

  • 2 Ty-Sun // Jul 25, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Now we can all begin to speculate on who the Suns can bring in to back up Gortat until Frye is ready to return. Someone on a 1 year minimum salary I’m sure.

  • 3 Scott // Jul 25, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    FWIW, I hope Babby doesn’t hold a press conference saying, “The Suns are definitely staying in Phoenix.”

    I realize he’s probably not making the decisions, but his track record right now is not the best.

  • 4 Scott // Jul 25, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    @Ty-Sun -

    I know Gortat would like Siler. He at least knows the system.

    I’m not in favor of SL’s Patrick O’Bryant, though.

    Anyone have a list of possibilities?

  • 5 Ty-Sun // Jul 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Unfortunately Siler may be the best option. At least he’s familiar with the system. He played with the Wizards summer league team and was not very impressive. I’m looking over some of the stats for other SL centers for possibilities.

  • 6 Tony // Jul 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm


    hypothetically speaking, you would praise the Suns FO if they traded Durant for Telfair! Wow you are such a homer that you make Mr. Orange seem reasonable lol!


    that’s too funny, and moreover, probably true. But this further evidence of what I’ve been saying about Babby all along, that he says one thing, and behind the scenes is doing the opposite. To recap, Babby labeled Nash the “Sun, moon, and stars” of the franchise and then he doesn’t even offer him a respectable contract. He subequently reiterated his desire for Hill to stay a Sun and that he would be extremely disappointed if he played elsewhere, but then he also refused to offer Hill a very reasonable and cheap contract to finish his career as a Sun. Then of course, this leads to Lopez and his comment concerning Lopez’s free agency that, “The message I would send out is it’s quite likely, if not certain, we’re going to match (any offer).”

    Now I realize that Babby may have been bluffing in hopes that other teams’ would be discouraged from pursuing Lopez, but when viewed in the aggregate of his comments versus his actions, it’s really becoming quite clear how untrustworthy he is when it comes to the validity of his comments.

  • 7 Zack B. // Jul 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    NICE! If we signed T-Will now, I’d be the happiest Suns fan alive. @Scott Darko Milicic? Hamed Haddadi? Turiaf? PFs that could log C minutes: Kenyon Martin, Carl Landry, Lou Admundson (Maybe) Ivan Johnson, DJ White…

  • 8 Tony // Jul 25, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    This is just a very bad trade for the Suns. Mark my words on this, the Suns just gave away their one advantage over other teams, in having two effective bigs, in favor of a bench player and a most likely late round pick that amounts to nothing. To me, this feels almost as bad as the Dragic for Brooks trade, albeit that was worse especially considering giving up a 1st round pick for Brooks. I just knew this would happen once they picked up Scola, ugh!

  • 9 Freddy // Jul 25, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I was a fan of #20. He had more heart than Lopez. I bet he can be had for a cheap 1 year deal. Not sure who else is available but Slim would be fun to watch again.

  • 10 Tony // Jul 25, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Man I just cannot keep my mouth shut! Always hating on EVERYTHING the suns do. Man I am truly a moron with problems.


  • 11 The Real Shane // Jul 25, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Nice job Suns FO.

  • 12 Tony // Jul 25, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Behold, Sun Also Loser emerges with his typical pathetic scheme pretending to be me as if he’s fooling anyone….

    I bet this clown still sponges off his mom, doesn’t work, and provides nothing of value to society. But I guess as long as he believes he’s being clever pretending to be someone else he can distract himself from his loser life.

  • 13 nashty // Jul 25, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Oden please!!!

  • 14 Carter // Jul 25, 2012 at 3:44 pm


    What do you guys think of him as a temporary back-up

  • 15 Suns all th eway // Jul 25, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Hornets are going to love this guy. Howard and Bynum won’t be able to push this guy around. He’s a good shooter all the way out to 15 feet and for a big man he is about 75% from the free throw line. Watch how this guy boxes out the other center. He’s one of the best at it in the league. He reminds me a lot of Bill Lambiere. He’s just a big dude with a mean streak. He was one of my favorite players on the Suns and I will miss him. Thank you Robin for the years you entertained me on the Suns

  • 16 Tony // Jul 25, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    I love the attention and I love to HATE on the suns!

    But most importantly I love to be a moron!

    Woo! I got Problems!

  • 17 frenchysunsfan // Jul 25, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Great move, definitly a great offseason for the Suns. Young talented players, no more old or overpaid players. We might not win the title this year because it takes time to build a team but soon we’ll be a contender. Now we must sign Milicic to complete the roster. He would be a good back-up for Gortat, he is a good defender and rebounder. GO SUNS!!!

  • 18 Freddy // Jul 25, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    @Tony What is wrong with you? Forgot to take your pills or something? Ha Ha

  • 19 Red // Jul 25, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    I have this feeling that Wesley Johnson will be this guy who boosts his career… like a Raja Bell, Diaw, Dudley and Gortat – not very impressive in their careers and then going to Phoenix and really turning into a much better player. Let’s hope it’s similar for Wes.

  • 20 Melon Man // Jul 25, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Now starting the official Bring Back Siler campaign.

  • 21 KeZ // Jul 25, 2012 at 3:58 pm


    Split personalities?

  • 22 Tony // Jul 25, 2012 at 4:02 pm


    I sincerely hope you are joking, as it’s quite obvious the loser-Sun Also Rises is pretending to be me. This guy has serious mental problems to be sure. I really hope he’s not over 18, because otherwise his parents must have done an awful job raising him. Seriously, only a total loser would pretend to be someone else.

  • 23 KeZ // Jul 25, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Why do you guys want to bring back Siler? IMO he is the worst player to ever put on a Phx uniform.

    I would take Chewbacca over him!

  • 24 KeZ // Jul 25, 2012 at 4:06 pm


    I hear you brother.

  • 25 Melon Man // Jul 25, 2012 at 4:10 pm


    Really? Siler worst Sun ever?

    Dude is gigantic, and I quite enjoy watching someone of his size try and play basketball. I see him as backup until Frye is available at which point he rides the pine. I bet in his limited minutes he can be as productive as Lopez has been.

  • 26 abel // Jul 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    maybe a horrible trade lopez might have been coming in to his own with that shot and now if he works at that sky hook we look stupid the media and every one is saying we got a 1st round pick but did anyone have the brains to say oh well what year are we getting this pick?it could be as worthless as what LA gave us but now we can speculate on next offseason got rid of lopez and warrick so we saved money and add an asset in the pick wesley johnson has a team option after this season i dont know what the cap number looks like for next summer but we are in a good place as suns fans we have assets/money/youth to build around anyone have ideas? mine
    c–d howard
    and the solar subs
    frye/scola/morris/marshal/dudley a draft pick for a sg lol

  • 27 Mohamed // Jul 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    @Tony: when was the last time we had an advantage on other teams that started with the word “Big”?

  • 28 Roger // Jul 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    How about Lou Amundson? High energy guy to back up Gortat, Scola while Frye is recovering. He knows the system.

  • 29 Lloyd I. Cadle // Jul 25, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    I think that the Suns had a heck of a off season. Good young players with a lot of upside. They also have cap room to make a run at Harden. It seems a lot better than just signing poor young players just to tank and get high draft picks that may or may not work out. Good job by the law firm of Babby and Blanks!

    Tony –

    Its just a game. The “toy dept.” if you will. I follow theology, the news and the upcoming election etc. But for fun…….basketball. And it is just that….fun.

    Sit down. Relax. Have a beer and a cigarette. Its only a game!

  • 30 Sunsgotthatswag // Jul 25, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    I will miss Lopez :(

  • 31 Suns Critic // Jul 25, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    I liked Lopez for his size and his tenacity to play tough. I thought him with the addition of Scola would have made the Suns a lot tougher as they said they wanted to go in that direction. I would have rather seen Frye go but, I realize him being hurt would make him a hard sale to teams so Lopez was the odd man out. So hopefully Frye can play well off the bench as he has done in the past. I say fill the roster spot with anyone who has size and energy for a 1year deal.

  • 32 joey // Jul 25, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    great move by suns. wesley johnson is another joe johnson. 6ft 8, long, can handle the rock, got a solid shot, and can defend 3 positions. he’ll be starting in no time over brown at sg. lopez is a massive underachiever. he’s clumsy and gets beat alot on d. he’s only able to recover sometimes because he’s so long, but if you look on replay he’s usually slow to rotate and gets out of position way too often. the 1st rd pick is another solid assest for trade bait. now we got even more ammo to get a franchise player. suns are in solid shape for 2013 and beyond. great job FO!

  • 33 Jason A. // Jul 25, 2012 at 4:45 pm


    I’ll give you a pass on the questionable posts, but I can assure you I wouldn’t praise the FO for trading Durant for Telfair. Don’t be such a dip bro. This was a good trade, Lopez was not in our plans, we got rid of Warrick’s contract, we got a nice backup player that fills a need, and we got a 1st round pick. What’s your problem man?

  • 34 Ty-Sun // Jul 25, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Anyone else getting the feeling that this topic has drifted into the Twilight Zone?

    Anyway, I’m happy with this move and all of the moves the FO has made so far since FA season started. I know that a lot of people will disagree with me but that’s life. If everyone agreed on everything then this would be a pretty boring place!

    This team will have at least 3 – and maybe 4 – new starters next year and no one actually knows how well they will mesh together or which players might actually take a leap forward (or a leap backward) in their individual games. All I now is that I’m more optimistic about this season than any season since Stat’s last season with the Suns.

  • 35 cha cha cha // Jul 25, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    “Darko Milicic? Hamed Haddadi? Turiaf? PFs that could log C minutes: Kenyon Martin, Carl Landry, Lou Admundson (Maybe) Ivan Johnson, DJ White…”

    Landry’s gonna get paid by someone, so he’s out. I’d be down for Ivan Johnson, DJ White, or Haddadi, though i think Ivan’s restricted. Hassan Whiteside was waived, but he’s a 7-ft-tall project. also, no Darko please.

  • 36 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Jul 25, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    For the second unit, we have players in-house who can man that role. Keep in mind that playing the 5 in Phoenix has never been a literal thing in terms of how centers are normally used on most teams.

    Morris can play the 5 until Frye returns while still performing his 4-position duties. Scola can do the same if he isn’t starting.

  • 37 Jason A. // Jul 25, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Finding minutes at the backup 5 spot will NOT be a problem. We can always play a few minutes per half of small ball and rotate Scola and Gortat with sliding Beasley over. Insert Brown and you got something.

  • 38 Ty-Sun // Jul 25, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    I’m not comfortable with asking Morris to do double duty and cover at the 5. I think he’s still too inexperienced. Scola could easily do it but if he’s starting then you have to do some fancy juggling with the substitution pattern. Better to bring someone else in on an unguaranteed contract that could be reliable enough for at least 2-3 minute stretches so that you don’t have to over play Gortat and/or Scola until Frye returns. When that happens, the Suns just terminate the unguaranteed contract player unless he’s actually played well enough to keep for the rest of the season. I doubt Siler will have any better offers and he might do well enough to cover up to 10 mins a night (not all in one stretch!) against weaker teams.

    While I’m not a fan of Siler as a player, I do like him. But also, as someone once told me, “Charles Barkley was once called the round mound of rebound… Siler is the round mound that stays on the ground.” Lol. He has a lot of deficiencies but he is a WIDE body and almost no one is actually going to push him around under the basket!

  • 39 sun also rises // Jul 25, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    You’d have to be on crack to believe that I would bother making up a fake-a$$ posting name to wring you out, Phony. I do just fine making you look like the ragdripper you are under my own name but thank you for the name check.

    also, roflawful at the irony of a guy who creates fake names to ‘agree with his points’ calling out a guy who has spanked him like a stepchild for two years straight for doing what he does. A sick in the head little nerd who redefines hypocrisy every time he posts? Bet the ladies are lined up around the block (or at the circus) for some of that. lololol

  • 40 Jason A. // Jul 25, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    @Ty that’s cool too.

  • 41 Scott // Jul 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    @Zach B -

    The only one I like in that list is Lou. He knows the system and could also play at PF if the Suns were to find a trade for Scola during the season. However, he’s smaller and lighter than Morris, and his FT% has regressed to less than 50%.

    @Carter -

    I liked the draft interview Fesenko gave for the Suns years ago, but he’s not that good. On the other hand, the Suns really just need an inexpensive live body that can hold the position down. Fes has the size (7′ 1″) and the weight (280 lbs) to do that, so long as he can keep the pace.

  • 42 steve // Jul 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    I agree with everyone saying Wesley Johnson is like the new Matrix or the new Joe Johnson in the same way I agree with people who say Dion Waiters is the next Michael Jordan, Landon Donovan is twice the player Messi is, and any person with webbed feet could swim as fast as Michael Phelps.

  • 43 bk // Jul 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    WTF, you can rob the Hornets for a top-10 pick for that. Now they only pay 2 second rounders.

  • 44 thatdude // Jul 25, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Great point Steve! This guy is pretty f***ing horrible and people comparing him to JJ or Marion are high on drugs.

  • 45 Jason A. // Jul 25, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    The idea that WJ is that same as JJ or matrix is laughable, even coming from a “FO lover” like me. Let’s be serious here. An underachiever likely to improve here, absolutely. A franchise player in waiting? You’re on crack. Good trade, good pickup, let’s leave it at that.

  • 46 Scott // Jul 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Well, to be fair, the comparison to JJ is (I think) to say that JJ wasn’t doing well when the Suns got him, and then he started to blossom. There’s the hope that WJ – who, by contrast, has done poorly for years, not mere months – will similarly blossom.

    Why the optimism? It’s because WJ was played out of position at SG. If he was moved to SF, his game would fit better, and his game is more like that of Marion (hence the comparison to Marion). He’s not a player who creates his own shot. He needs to get the ball on a cut for a dunk, like Marion, or he can shoot a somewhat iffy 3, like Marion. So he’s not a primary option guy.

    WJ is also the same height as JJ and Marion: 6′ 7″. He has a 7′ 1″ wingspan, which no doubt helps him around the basket and on defense.

    His motor has been questioned, but that too could be because he’s being played out of position and can’t do much.

    Traits ascribed to WJ on Draft Express:

    - Efficiency
    - Relatively mistake-free
    - Shot-selection
    - Versatility
    - Ability to contest shots
    - Defensive potential
    - Versatility to defend multiple positions
    - Strong Intangibles
    - Unselfishness
    - High-level productivity
    - Athleticism
    - Size for position
    - Wingspan
    - Rebounding ability
    - 3-point shooting percentages
    - Ability to create separation from defender
    - Quick release

    - Ability to get to free throw line
    - Go-to scoring mentality
    - Ability to create own shot
    - Advanced ball-handling skills
    - Limited upside?
    - Physical Toughness
    - Older than class peers

    From DraftExpress.com http://www.draftexpress.com#ixzz21ggt0hYo

  • 47 Ty-Sun // Jul 25, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Lol. I’m certainly not predicting “great things” from Johnson but lets not for get that he played his first two seasons on what was – until last year at least – one of the most dysfunctional teams in the NBA. Maybe a change of scenery is what he needs to spark more out of him. I hope so. If not then he’ll be a one and done player since there’s a team option on the last year of his contract that I doubt the Suns will pick up without him proving himself first. If he plays well this season, the Suns may offer him a new contract next year. If not then we all move on.

  • 48 Jason A. // Jul 25, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I read that we have to pick up his $5+ mil option by 10/31. Unless something serious happens in the preseason I’m not sure how we excercise the option. The only reason I can think of is that the FO thinks he’ll play well the next two years and he’ll be a RFA at the end. S/T material maybe?

  • 49 Scott // Jul 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Let me add that if WJ wants to be more useful, he’ll add a short jumper to his arsenal, like both Marion and Warrick did.

  • 50 Scott // Jul 25, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    @Jason A -

    Maybe we need some clarity on his contract. I thought the idea was that his team option comes up in October, and the assumption is that it will be declined, making this coming season the last on his contract.

  • 51 Ty-Sun // Jul 25, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Scott is correct. If the Suns decline picking up his option this October then WJ’s contract with the Suns is only binding for one season. And I think he’s worth a shot for one season.

    And I don’t really like loosing Lopez but the price for keeping him as a backup was just getting too high… especially for a team with a LOT of question marks going into next season.

  • 52 Jason A. // Jul 25, 2012 at 6:52 pm


    You are correct and I doubt they’ll exercise the option. But if they think that WJ will be a much improved player with the Suns and will command attention when his (extended) contract is up, they could gamble and exercise the option in advance and hope to get assets back later in a potential S/T.

  • 53 Jenks D. // Jul 25, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    (Im not reading all of the comments, so someone just answer me please haha)

    We get Brad Miller, but don’t pay him anything, because his contract went back to the TWolves?

  • 54 Nick // Jul 25, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Im left wondering how hard the FO went after sign and trade for egordon if the hornets liked Lopez this much?

  • 55 bk // Jul 25, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Is the pick we get from Memphis or Minnesota’s own? What year?

  • 56 Kevin // Jul 25, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    What about Andray Blatche for back up center? He cleared waivers after Washington amnestied him making him an UFA. He could be a good fill-in.

  • 57 WonderBoyRoy // Jul 25, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    It’s Memphis’s first round pick in the year coming up. @Jenks Brad Miller’s contract will be bought out for around 800K to clear cap space so he can retire.

  • 58 bk // Jul 25, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Thanks. Kind of unbelievable that people are happy with a Memphis first round pick for Lopez.

  • 59 Scott // Jul 25, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    @Jason A -

    If I understand the situation properly, the Suns would have to be astounded by WJ’s performance in pre-season to sign him for another year at $4-5m. It’s very close to certain they would choose to end his current contract after this season.

    If he plays well, WJ might get re-signed with the Suns for something like Brown’s current contract.

    After playing so poorly in Minnesota, his reputation is damaged so much that I don’t think any team wants to risk more years or money.

    BTW, it’s always possible the Suns will play WJ at SG and thus he will continue to stink. I know some here think Gentry is a genius, but I’m not convinced of that, and I could see Gentry playing WJ at SG regardless of all the logic that indicates it would be bad.

  • 60 Scott // Jul 25, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    @Kevin -

    Shhh! Blanks might hear you. ;)

  • 61 Kevin // Jul 25, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Hearing that the deal has a 50/50 chance of getting done. Not good.

  • 62 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Jul 25, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    I’m not too worried about Gentry putting Wes at the 2 for the starters or the bench mob.

    Dudleu is a superior fit with this new unit. Dragon and Beasley will be attacking; you need somebody who can play out of the way.

    Off the bench, he’d be perfect at the 3. Brown will be at the 2. It’ll be fine.

    I still can’t believe so many of you are upset RoLo could be leaving. He’s been terrible for years

  • 63 D.P. // Jul 26, 2012 at 12:04 am

    This trade was perfect for the suns. I’ve always looked at waricks contract as a problem that I for a while beleved couldn’t be traded. He never fit into the rotation, so he was like a waste I’m glad to get something for him; especially a young player who fits a position of need (back up sf). Lopez was always horrible (except in year 2) so a first rounder was a good pick up. I sense a big time trade coming up. We’ve got lots of picks good contracts an plenty of cap space.

  • 64 Scott // Jul 26, 2012 at 12:29 am

    @Rich -

    I agree that’s how Wes should be played. However, I wouldn’t put it past Gentry to plug him in at SG.

    I don’t have a lot of confidence in Gentry’s ability to recognize player strengths and weaknesses and put them in the right position with the right teammates. My observation is that he all too often does something … different.

  • 65 Robin Lopez trade hits snag due to CBA rules // Jul 26, 2012 at 12:45 am

    [...] Suns, Hornets and Wolves fans already envisioned how the pieces of the proposed three-way trade involving Robin Lopez and Wes Johnson would fit their organizations, the teams had yet to find a [...]

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