Robin Lopez trade hits snag due to CBA rules

Posted by on July 26th, 12:45 am

Editor’s Note: I have since learned that I misunderstood a CBA rule. Please consult this post for the end result of this trade’s hold up.

Nothing is ever easy.

While Suns, Hornets and Wolves fans were already envisioning 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 way to make the trade comply with league salary cap rules.

I discussed the deal this afternoon with Jason Calmes from Hornets 247 and frankly neither of us could figure out a way for the teams to make it legal with the parts being discussed. However, I figured the professional cap analysts might see something that us amateur capologists missed.

Turns out we may have been right.

The Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro reported Wednesday night that “significant issues” are preventing the deal from being pushed to completion. The teams have agreed to principle to the trade that would include the Suns receiving a lottery-protected Memphis first-rounder from Minnesota, yet as Coro put it “the largest remaining issue is making the trade oblige with rules to get league approval.”

Tonight PBO Lon Babby told a group of Suns fans that the deal is 50/50, as an agreement remains but consummating the trade within the guidelines of the rules is the problem, per Coro.

Here is the issue as I see it.

First off, as we have reported a couple times on this site, a player cannot be reacquired by a team until the following July 1 after being dealt. That means Brad Miller’s contract can only be traded to Phoenix in this arrangement because Minnesota dealt him to New Orleans earlier this month.

According to Larry Coon’s CBA FAQ, a team cannot deal a player “for two months after receiving the player in trade, if the trade aggregates the player’s salary with the salaries of other player” if the team is over the salary cap, which New Orleans now is and would still be as the result of this trade, per Calmes.

My thought then was why don’t they split this up and have the Suns acquire Miller for Warrick, which is legal, and then consummate the rest of the pieces as a separate trade.

Unfortunately, the Hornets need to take back both Warrick and Lopez in the same deal that aggregates the salaries of Miller and Jerome Dyson for it to be legal on their side. Non-tax paying teams that are over the cap, which New Orleans is, can take back 150 percent of what they send out plus $100K, per Coon’s FAQ. Miller is essentially needed for the very purpose of being able to absorb the $9.3 million they would take back in Warrick and Lopez via the 150 percent rule so taking him out would would still make this incarnation of the deal illegal.

If only Dyson were included in a deal for Lopez (and the teams did the aforementioned Miller/Warrick swap),  the Hornets would not be able to give Lopez a contract anywhere close to the the $5 mil a year being reported. New Orleans does not have a cap filler replacement for Miller to slot into this deal either.

If the sides cannot figure things out, the ramifications would be felt by the Wolves and Andrei Kirilenko, who reportedly have agreed on a two-year, $20 mil deal. Minnesota needed to cut Johnson’s salary to clear cap space for AK47.

Coro speculated that if the deal falls through Lopez would sign with the Suns for the $4 mil qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent next season. This was always my preferred means of keeping Lopez as I have been against any long-term deal for him but would be pleased to keep him for one year for cheap when we already know one team is very interested in acquiring him.

Based on Calmes’ figures, the Hornets do not have enough cap space to offer that three-year, $15.3 million deal via restricted free agency without the help of a trade.

ESPN previously reported that a four-team deal that would have placed Lopez in New Orleans has already fallen apart, so it’s certainly possible this deal will be expanded if this iteration does not work out.

But based on my understanding of the salary cap rules and with the limited pieces at the teams’ disposal, it’s hard to see how these general managers will keep the deal cap legal in its current form.

UPDATED: Potential solutions

First off, thanks to reader Ryan for bringing up the point that the Suns could just try to make this a two-team trade with Minnesota. The Wolves are now desperate to clear cap space to sign Kirilenko so they might be willing to give up the Memphis pick and Johnson for a protected second … or perhaps even more.

The Suns are in a good spot here because not many teams are in position to do a money deal like Phoenix potentially is, plus the team could use Johnson depth-wise. This would work under the cap for the Suns only if they renounce Lopez’s rights (which they won’t do) or sign him to the $4 mil qualifying offer. That would put them at about $57.5 mil in salaries for this season and the same place for the future as they were under the original version of the trade.

I think this would be a fantastic use of their extra cap space while maintaining future flexibility and retaining Lopez to potentially flip after Dec. 15 for yet another asset. In the meantime the Suns would have a quality backup center while Frye is out. The key here is Lopez would have to sign the qualifying offer first, and as a guy who originally wanted $7 mil a season on a long-term deal, he won’t necessarily be willing to do so.

By my math, this deal would work if Minnesota traded Johnson and the first for Al-Farouq Aminu and the two seconds (satisfied by 150 percent rule) from New Orleans. They could then deal Johnson and the pick for Lopez and Miller for Warrick (or vice versa). I’m not sure if that would clear enough cap space for Minnesota to sign AK, and if it doesn’t obviously this idea is moot.

This concept also would work if the Suns dealt Telfair instead of Warrick. The Suns would trade a re-signed Lopez and Telfair to the Hornets, the Hornets would trade Miller (by himself) to the Suns as well as a second-rounder to the Wolves, and the Wolves would send Johnson and the pick to the Suns. The Suns would be able to absorb the extra salary into cap space (although that would be about it for their 2012 cap room), the Hornets could do it via the 150 percent rule and the Wolves would be under the cap. Of course, I’m not sure why the Suns would do a deal like that but they could.

If the Suns waive P.J. Tucker, they could do the originally reported deal as is just without Warrick (Suns get Johnson/Miller/first, Hornets get Lopez, Minny gets two seconds) since Miller would not be aggregated with anybody else’s salary in this iteration. Again, without Warrick included I don’t see how this makes sense for Phoenix.

Calmes suggested an even more realistic possibility. If the Hornets trade Xavier Henry to a fourth team with minimal cap space or a satisfactory trade exception for a second-rounder (they originally acquired him for a second), they could take back Warrick’s salary while leaving the rest of the current deal intact aside from Miller and Lopez, who would then be traded for each other in a separate deal. The teams would need to execute the Lopez/Miller trade first to clear Robin’s cap hold and give the Suns the room to make the other deal, after which they would still have almost $3.5 mil of cap room remaining.

At this point it’s up to one of the teams to compromise in some way by moving another asset. Which organization wants this most?

Michael Schwartz founded ValleyoftheSuns in October 2008 and is the owner/editor emeritus of the site. He is currently working toward his MBA in sports business at San Diego State University.

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Tags: Minnesota Timberwolves · New Orleans Hornets · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Analysis · Phoenix Suns News · Trades

101 responses so far ↓

  • 1 HoopsNerdUK // Jul 26, 2012 at 1:06 am

    Ah, well. If it doesn’t happen, we still have the cheap third center we need for another year.

    If he does end up picking up the qualifying offer, when can we deal Lopez? Might be valuable to someone at the trade deadline, so still might pick up that (non-lottery) 1st-rounder.

  • 2 Mister X // Jul 26, 2012 at 1:13 am

    So Mike….
    By reading your article it seems that the problem is that Miller cannot be traded with another player(Jerome Dyson)for 2 months, but he can be traded by himself. So could Dyson just be removed from the deal, or is Minnesota required to receive a player in a 3 way deal. If Minnesota is required to receive a player, the Suns in theory could maybe send Bassy(considering that he likely wont’ be happy as a 3rd PG) to Minnesota, or to a 4th team that could send Minnesota a non-guaranteed contract. Either of these options would seem to make the deal legal under CBA rules.

  • 3 Joe // Jul 26, 2012 at 2:34 am

    Rather than trading Miller to the Suns, can the Hornets sign and trade the free agent center the Suns are looking at to replace Lopez?

  • 4 Sksyoshi // Jul 26, 2012 at 2:54 am

    @Mister X miller is the cog that makes the salaries fit to send Rolo n Hakim over to the Hornets. The wolves are trying to dump salary they are not taking back any players so no Bassy would not work for them.

    @joe what center are you talking about do you know who is in this trade?

    I knew something did not add up about this trade but I hope they can find a fourth team to help facilitate this trade.

  • 5 Bassy // Jul 26, 2012 at 3:40 am

    let’s get Terrence Williams from the Sacramento Kings!
    That way the deal goes through; Minny gets cap space to sign AK47, NO still gets ROLO and HAKIM, and Suns get Wes Johnson, Terrence Williams and a future 1st Rounder

  • 6 Majestic // Jul 26, 2012 at 5:03 am

    Simple solution: Do what the Lakers did to land Pau Gasol.

  • 7 Greg // Jul 26, 2012 at 5:26 am

    Then what do the kings get in return bassy? I mean maybe they give him away for free becasue t-will sucks….

  • 8 Grant // Jul 26, 2012 at 6:31 am

    Let the Hornets sign Lopez to the famous “poison-pill” deal so that can just sign him with their cap space (something like 2,5/2,5/10). After that, trade Warrick for Miller and two second round picks. In the next step swap those two second round picks for Johnson and the first round pick.

    Problem: Does New Orleans want a 10 million cap hit in year three?

  • 9 Jason A. // Jul 26, 2012 at 6:35 am

    No! I knew it was too good to be true. Actually, Lopez at $4 mil ain’t bad considering we need a center but I’d prefer the trade.

  • 10 Jeremy A // Jul 26, 2012 at 6:40 am

    I already bought my Wes Johnson jersey…

  • 11 Shawn // Jul 26, 2012 at 7:08 am

    Looks like New Orleans screwed themselves by matching Phoenix’s offer on Gordon. Should have agreed to a S&T with Phoenix of Gordon for Lopez plus other assets. Then they should have used their saved money to sign either a new SG or PG (since Rivers is a SG). Instead, they crippled themselves by giving one guy (Gordon) such a large contract. In the end, this deal would have helped Phoenix, but ultimately, if it doesn’t go through, it will hurt New Orleans and Minnesota far more. Karma is a b!tch, New Orleans!

  • 12 Mike // Jul 26, 2012 at 7:19 am

    Quick question. The suns are getting whose pick in 2013 in this? Minnesota/Houston/Memphis? Memphis traded their pick to Houston (with Thabeet) for Shane Battier. After that I get confused… something with Chase Buddinger (sp?). Can anyone explain to me whose draft pick is being lottery protected?

  • 13 Joe // Jul 26, 2012 at 7:22 am

    New Orleans could trade Xavier Henry instead of Brad Miller. His $2,323,200 along with Dyson’s $762,195 outgoing salaries would allow the $8,250,000 incoming from the Suns under the 150%+100k rule.

    @Sksyoshi I meant hypothetically, the Suns must have a free agent center on their radar to replace Lopez. In any case, a team can only do a sign and trade with their own free agent, so this idea wouldn’t work.

  • 14 Bryan // Jul 26, 2012 at 7:37 am

    If the only way to make it work is for the Suns to end up with Miller, why is that a problem? His contract is only guranteed for less than 1ml and the Suns have plenty of cap space.

    1) Sign and trade Lopez and Warrick to NO for Miller, Dyson, 2 2nd rnd picks and cash (to cover Miller).

    2) Trade Dyson and 2 2nd rnd picks to Min. for Johnson and 1st.

  • 15 Scott // Jul 26, 2012 at 7:42 am

    I’d agree with Joe. Find a FA center that the Suns want, have NO sign him to the contract the Suns want (using a minimum exception), then put him in the trade instead of Miller.

    This assumes, of course, that the Suns have zeroed in on a FA center.

    If the Suns were looking to get a center in trade, then maybe that deal will have to get added to this one. For example, send Miller’s contract and an appropriate pick to Houston, Philly, or whoever, to get the C in trade.

    @Joe -

    Probably this was already proposed, and the Suns do not want Xavier Henry.

  • 16 Scott // Jul 26, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Oh wait … that won’t work … lol … Miller has to be in the trade …

    Bleh. It’s too early in the morning to think about this. :p

  • 17 Kelvin // Jul 26, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Did Hornet use the non-taxpayer mid-level exception

  • 18 steve // Jul 26, 2012 at 8:30 am

    I, for one, won’t be disappointed either way. One man’s trash is sometimes another man’s treasure, but sometimes it’s still just trash.

    It’s not all that likely that the Suns can turn a late first-rounder into anything better than Lopez. And Lopez is a perpetual headache, but he’s still just 24 years old and has at least one very good/elite skill (shot-blocking).

    I know Lopez has outstayed his welcome for many Suns fans, and it’s not really that I like Lopez, it’s just that I don’t really like the alternative any better.

  • 19 joey // Jul 26, 2012 at 8:37 am

    why can’t we just sign lopez at 4mil instead of hornets at 5mil. then do the trade. wouldn’t that extra mil less cover brad millers contract so he can stay out of the trade?

  • 20 jeff // Jul 26, 2012 at 8:53 am

    I think everyone is crazy. When the suns were making the push for the playoffs the last 15 games of the season Gortak was dominated in important games. It was Lopez who actually held his own against the better teams. The Suns are nuts if they basically give away Lopez.I am not sold on Brown at shooting guard. That position requires not only a shooter but a player that can create their own shot( A TRUE SCORER). Lopez may be alot more valuable then everyone is thinking.

  • 21 bk // Jul 26, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Nice……. Getting hornets first round pick is more attractive than the memphis first round pick. If hornets do not do that, they will need to sign Lopez at higher price next year through unstricted FA.

  • 22 Yohance // Jul 26, 2012 at 8:56 am


    I knew it was too good to be true!
    We got to find a way to make this work.
    I like the thought of using Frye as our backup center.
    Just think about how many people can knock down the three
    and then do an decent job at guarding the other teams big men? I can think of only one Rasheed Wallace.
    He is no Rasheed Wallace but I think he could get the job done. Morris or Scola will have to fill the role until Frye is healthy. But we definitely need to get rid off Warrick or Lopez. This trade allowed us to do both. Let’s find away please…

  • 23 Mr. Cruncher // Jul 26, 2012 at 9:05 am

    According to a mock trade scenario, which nearly matches the salaries in the real-world, proposed trade, the TWolves will need to send out another $1.6m approximately. View the ESPN NBA Trade Machine scenario:

    I used Frye’s $6m salary and the $0.7m salary from Lance Thomas of NO to mimic the $5.3 sign and trade salary of Lopez from Phx to NO.

    In effect, the Hornets will need to send out Aminu, Smith, or Henry to make the salaries work. Henry may be the most expendable of the bunch, since the team already has two combo guards in Rivers and Gordon in addition to point guard Vasquez. Sending Henry to the Suns in the trade scenario works, according to the trade machine:

    However, the terms of compensation may need to be altered — i.e. the Suns may need to send a 2nd rd pick to the Hornets or something of that ilk. At any rate, Henry has a Team Option for next year, so he won’t eat up cap space, if the Suns decline his option.

    That is just one possible scenario to execute the proposed trade. One way or another, though, all 3 teams will need to get creative to make it happen.

  • 24 Ryan // Jul 26, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Why not just leave the hornets out of the trade? Hit up money for an additional asset on top often first rounder…..they’re the more desperate of the two with ak47 already agreeing. Suns keep Lopez on qo and buy out warrik and get a one year flyer on Johnson. I realize this uses up almost all of the cap space for a trade deadline lopsided trade but what were they gonna get out of that anyway.

  • 25 Ryan // Jul 26, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Minny not money

  • 26 Russell // Jul 26, 2012 at 9:21 am

    @Ryan Sarver is already eating 7mil a year from Childress, you want him to “buy out” Warrick (basically eat his contract and let him go, and bring in Johnson (4.2 million) just to land a 20ish level 1st round pick?

    Basically in your scenario Sarver is eating 15 mil a year in bad contracts (Childress, Warrick, Johnson) just to trade Lopez for a 1st rounder? Think this through first.

  • 27 Russell // Jul 26, 2012 at 9:23 am

    I’m sorry you don’t even want to trade Lopez for a pick! you just want johnson? the only reason the Suns would take johnsons high salary is if someone is going to take Warriks.

    There is no logic there.

  • 28 Animan // Jul 26, 2012 at 9:29 am

    There’s no use in worrying about this. The trade will happen, regardless. Any and all issues will be resolved. No one has reported “significant issues” on major headliners, such as Yahoo and Espn and even NBA, so there is nothing to fret over. We will get the pick and Johnson, so now, we need to focus on a backup center, such as Haddadi or Fesenko, and maybe re-signing Redd.

  • 29 Ryan // Jul 26, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Where does it say anything about trading Lopez. The trade is just with min nesota for a one year flyer on Johnson. And IMO the suns should look at what else Minnesota can offer with Johnson. They need to get rid of Johnson to sign ak47. Also sarver eating warriks contract regardless, a buyout could actually save him a couple million. Warriks in a contract year he doesn’t want to sit on the bench.

  • 30 Andrew // Jul 26, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I think this might be a blessing in disguise. I am all for a sign and trade with Lopez, but there has to be a better player we can squire. I say at this point Minnesota is getting pretty desperate. So hopefully the suns FO realizes we have the upper hand, and either we benefit from this trade, or we hold on to our assets until other teams want to deal.

  • 31 Michael Schwartz // Jul 26, 2012 at 9:38 am

    @HoopsNerd Lopez could not be traded until Dec. 15.

  • 32 Ryan // Jul 26, 2012 at 9:45 am

    I realize I didn’t make it clear but the first rounder, Johnson and more additionalsetts

  • 33 Michael Schwartz // Jul 26, 2012 at 9:45 am

    @Ryan Brilliant idea, although I’m not sure Robin or the Hornets would agree! If the Suns sign Robin for the QO first, they could do that deal without Warrick and be at $57.5 mil in salaries. One first-rounder is about the best they could hope for with that kind of cap space in a lopsided trade anyway. The key is Lopez accepting the QO first because they could not do this with where his cap hold currently stands. Minny will get desperate if this falls apart, the Suns are the one team not in desperate mode if this falls apart. Minny has got to be most desperate with the verbal with AK.

  • 34 Andy // Jul 26, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Sigh, this will teach me to praise the Suns front office. Between this and the “we’re not sure how amnesty works” Scola fiasco, someone needs to send them a .pdf of Coon’s CBA FAQ.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but why doesn’t replacing miller with Xavier Henry’s <2.3 million deal work? Do we think that New Orleans sees him as a real asset? Admittedly, I know nothing about him, but he sure looks like a potential throw-in. Anyway, he and Johnson come to 6.6, which is enough @ 1.5 times for them to take back the 9.3 figure above. It would cost us a little more money than Miller would have, but we could get some cash back. Or not, even at that price, we're still getting a 1st rounder at slightly below market.

    Also, it turns out that potential Howard trade is ever easier than I though. I was calculating at 1.25, but if we can take back 1.5 of what we send out, you don't even need to add Brown or Dudley in there. Which means we can do it as soon as the trade restriction expires on the Minny players, and not give up any for-sure rotation players outside of Gortat. That works even with Henry's salary in place of Miller's.

    And, FWIW, I have to push back on the "too much risk" idea – the way our roster is constructed now, the only players out of Marshall/Telfair/Johnson/Henry/Morris/Gortat who are likely to get starting minutes in the next three years is Gortat, who we upgrade to Howard. (To be clear, I'm not saying Morris or Marshall aren't capable of starting, I'm just saying that we've spent almost 20 million on locking up players for at least 3 years that are ahead of them in the rotation this summer.) Add in the Richardson upgrade at SG, and surely that's worth 4 picks that won't be in the lottery. If we make the trade, put a competitive team around Howard, offer him more money, and he walks, that sucks. We're set back a little. But it's not like any of those parts is going to net a superstar in any other context. If he walks, or we stay on this path, the next step is probably going to be trying to get a superstar through the draft. But if we keep Howard, we're title contenders for half a decade, at least. Those are the kind of dice we have to roll.

  • 35 Greg // Jul 26, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Haddadi would be a nice addition because he offers a huge (though slow and no conditioning) 7’2” body to replace Lopez. He also wouldnt need a ton of minutes, 6-10 a night, that way the front court isnt too crowded.

    Most importantly, he would be the perfect replacement for Lopez as far as maintaining the title “Ugliest Team” and he would be at a much reduced cost. Very limited minutes, but pretty good production and a quality PER, although as mentioned only on about 6 mins per game.

    His block rate was actually the best in the league….not saying much, but he would replace what Robin offers as a shot blocker atleast and is a better robounder, with much less athleticism.

  • 36 Greg // Jul 26, 2012 at 9:56 am


  • 37 Andy // Jul 26, 2012 at 10:01 am

    I think that you’ve hit on one of the things that makes picking a replacement-level Lopez replacement so hard. We’re not totally sure what our pace is going to look like next year. If we’re still going to be in the top quarter of the league in pace, someone like Haddadi is probably miscast even as a spot bench guy. If we’re dropping towards the mean, though, he’s a perfect fit. I totally agree that if we’re going at a lesser pace, we should focus on shot blocking and rebounding. Our back-up center will almost certainly be in a unit with Brown and/or Beasley, and the whole point of a guy like that is that they are going to get their offense on iso-style plays. And they have trouble staying in front of their man. It seems to me that putting in a relatively offensively sophisticated, defensively limited center would seem to accentuate, rather than shore up, weaknesses.

  • 38 Michael Schwartz // Jul 26, 2012 at 10:01 am

    @Andy Johnson is coming from Minny, not NO, so replacing Henry’s deal with Miller’s doesn’t help matter. However, as I’m about to write at the end of this piece, I believe the Hornets could swap Aminu for Johnson and then do the deal from there (Miller for Warrick and Johnson for Lopez, or vice versa, with all the picks thrown in like before).

    Nice idea on Dwight, but it’s going to take a helluva lot more than that to land him IMO.

  • 39 sun also rises // Jul 26, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Nothing personal against my boys in NOLA but I’m really starting to hate the Hornets. First the wrist slapping drama with Gordon and now this… these front offices deserve each other. lolol

  • 40 bk // Jul 26, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Hornets has no cap space left this year ( They can only add Lopez by trade exception or similar salary dump to Phoenix.

    So, technically if there is a trade with Suns and Hornets this year, it will be Brad Miller non-guarantee contract plus their first rounder for Lopez.

    If hornets get Lopez directly through FA next year after their expiring Lewis contract, the price of Lopez will be most likely higher than $5M/year.

  • 41 Andy // Jul 26, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Ah, duh, thanks. I looked at aminu and then switched for some reason. On Dwight, maybe, but four firsts, gortat, Marshall, and Morris, while dumping Davis, richardson, and Duhon seems competitive with any return I’ve seen mentioned so far. No doubt he’s WORTH more, but someone has to offer it. Especially without a guarantee he resigns. It really comes down, on that case, to whether Houston is willing to pay a Howard price for bynum, or if Orlando values gortat more or less than the Toronto pick. (We could also offer our 2014, rather than 2013 pick, letting Orlando gamble on him not resigning. But I would really rather not. :) )

  • 42 Mr. Cruncher // Jul 26, 2012 at 10:15 am

    The trigger word in these talks is “desperate”. Minnesota is obviously the most desperate of the three teams. Look at what they reportedly offered Portland in a sign and trade for Batum (two 1st rd picks & Derrick Williams). They clearly want to make significant upgrades this year (by signing Kirilenko) and shoot for the playoffs. By they, I mean David Kahn, because his job may be on the line, if Minny doesn’t make the playoffs. I imagine Kahn will be very aggressive to somehow execute this trade, or another trade, and unload Johnson’s salary.

    Moreover, New Orleans needs a big man to help protect Anthony Davis. Jason Smith is not going to cut it, and I can’t think of many other decent centers left on the market outside of Lopez. They too want to compete this year, like almost every other team in the league, and Lopez is a nice fit along Davis and Ryan Anderson to help them do that. Allowing Davis to get abused down low all season long is not the right way to start off his career. So they must also be near “desperate” for Lopez.

    The Suns, on the other hand, are in the driver’s seat, and I bet Babby will drive (no pun intended) a hard bargain. I really hope somehow someway this deal gets done, because the Suns will benefit in the long term more so than retaining Lopez for another year.

  • 43 Michael Schwartz // Jul 26, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Absolutely, and that’s the key. The Suns are in the driver’s seat, especially with Minny. In no way shape or form do the Wolves want to go back on that deal because they can’t find the necessary cap space.

  • 44 Bryan // Jul 26, 2012 at 10:33 am

    OK, I’m starting to see the problem, Miller (5,104,000)+Dyson (762,195) times 1.5 and +100,000 only gets you to 8,899,292.50 in salary coming back. Warrick (4,250,000)+Lopez (at 5,000,000) is 9,250,000 so the trade does not work by 350,707.50.

    There are two possible solutions. First, don’t include Warrick in the trade. Second, Include Lance Thomas in the trade.

    I assume that the Suns want to include Warrick to help balance the salary they would get from Johnson. Maybe the compromise would be to include Thomas and have the Suns kick the 2nd rnd pick they are getting from the Lakers next year?

  • 45 Grant // Jul 26, 2012 at 10:37 am

    What about:

    1. Xavier Henry + Lance Thomas + Jerome Dyson 2 2nds for Hakim Warrick + LAL 1st
    2. Brad Miller for Robin Lopez
    3. Johnson+MEM 1st for 1 2nd + Jerome Dyson

    We give up the 30th pick in draft for an early second round pick from the Hornets but get another young wing player and big man.

  • 46 Bryan // Jul 26, 2012 at 10:40 am

    One more thing, NO could also add Xavier Henry instead of Thomas and the trade would still work. However, this would add approx. 1.5mil in salary for the Suns so I am sure they would push for Thomas since neither player figures to get much playing time.

  • 47 bk // Jul 26, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Please…… according to, the 2013-14 of Warrick contract is team option. It means Warrick is technically 1 year left. Any salary dump of Warrick is a trash talk here.

  • 48 Greg // Jul 26, 2012 at 10:51 am

    @ Andy, I agree with your points, but unless we sign an undersized center that can run the floor, we need a cheap option that can atleast do some things well on the floor. It isnt like we have tons of options waiting for us. I agree with many of your points, considering I was more concerned with him maintaining our ugliness lol, but playing an effective 6-10 mins a game. I am not saying hes the best fit, he is terribly slow and could not maintain any type of pace with the Suns.
    Beasley and Brown may let their man beat them off the dribble,but having a 7’2” body will atleast alter shots when he is on the floor. As mentioned, his block rate was through the roof, 4.88 per 40 mins, which, is much higher then even Lopez’s impressive block rate.

    I am not suggesting he is better, or a better fit, but having a legit 7 footer on the roster is alwayss a benefit.

    I think the Suns shouldnt slow the pace, it has already slowed in recent years. Goran is terrific in transition, and when he steals the ball no one can catch him. He often breaks away and scores easy fastbreak layins/dunks. If they push the pace, with Brown on right wing Beasley on left wing running the floor, they could do some nice things.

    Slowing it at times though can be effective as well with Scola as a legit post threat and Beasley an iso-scorer. Tons of questions, but this team is going to be exciting most nights, win or lose.

  • 49 Michael Schwartz // Jul 26, 2012 at 10:51 am

    @Bryan The issue is NO can’t aggregate Miller’s salary with that of other players.

  • 50 Michael Schwartz // Jul 26, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I’ve updated the bottom of the story with potential solutions, some of which were generated from this very comments section. So thanks for that guys!

  • 51 Scott // Jul 26, 2012 at 11:52 am

    A hypothetical: would the Suns be better off trading Frye instead of Lopez?

  • 52 JT's Hoops Blog // Jul 26, 2012 at 11:54 am

    That’s a shame. I was really hoping for Lpez to have a fresh start as a Hornet.

  • 53 Michael Schwartz // Jul 26, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    @Scott Yeah, but it takes two to tango. Teams aren’t exactly lining up to take that contract, and New Orleans certainly doesn’t need him with a better Frye already signed (Anderson).

  • 54 bk // Jul 26, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    @Scott, for now they should put Frye as SG position. So, we have variety matchup of Brown/Dudley/Frye there.

  • 55 nashty // Jul 26, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Micheal we could sign T-Will and forget this trade?

  • 56 Michael Schwartz // Jul 26, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Just added this to the end of the story, but for those who are only reading the comments at this point:

    “Calmes suggested an even more realistic possibility. If the Hornets trade Xavier Henry to a fourth team with minimal cap space or a satisfactory trade exception for a second-rounder (they originally acquired him for a second), they could take back Warrick’s salary while leaving the rest of the current deal intact aside from Miller and Lopez, who would then be traded for each other in a separate deal. The teams would need to execute the Lopez/Miller trade first to clear Robin’s cap hold and give the Suns the room to make the other deal, after which they would still have almost $3.5 mil of cap room remaining.

    At this point it’s up to one of the teams to compromise in some way by moving another asset. Which organization wants this most?”

  • 57 Bryan // Jul 26, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Michael, interesting, I did not realize that, in that case it has to bee three separate trades with Henry included.

    1)Miller to Suns in S/T for Lopez

    2)Dyson and Henry to Suns for Warrick (Dyson and Thomas combined won’t work)

    3)Johnson to Suns for Dyson + picks

    I would assume that for including Henry, NO would want to revisit the draft picks, but given Minn. has already agreed with AK, that part of the trade could go through as just picks for WJ and picks, like the KT trade several years ago.

  • 58 Michael Schwartz // Jul 26, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    @Bryan I suppose that could work (with 2/3 combined as one move). But I doubt the Suns would really want Henry AND Johnson so I would assume Henry would be sent somewhere else (perhaps the Suns would be OK with him as another asset to flip). Doesn’t matter where he goes, as long as he’s combined with Dyson in the NO part of the multi-team deal.

  • 59 Greg // Jul 26, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    @ BK

    we all know you were being sarcastic about Frye playing at the 2 spot right?

  • 60 Morgan McCoy // Jul 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    I think once this deal goes through the Suns will need to find a temporary back up center. Looking at what centers are left the only one I would consider is Fresenko. However, I don’t think he fits, because I don’t think he can run the floor. I think the suns should go after LOU! He’s undersized, but the guy can rebound and defend. He’s a great locker room guy, and will help the team gel. Plus he’s cheap.

  • 61 Greg // Jul 26, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    @ Morgan

    I like Lou as a short-term fix, and the fans love him, good chemistry, hustle guy. Despite being a decent shot blocker/rebounder, big 5′s absolutely abuse him. He may be the worst free throw shooter in the league. Having a back-up center that cant guard 5′s and cant shoot free throws at all is a problem, even though i like his ability to run

  • 62 bk // Jul 26, 2012 at 1:18 pm


    I believe Frye strength is shooting 3, not post defending.

  • 63 Ty-Sun // Jul 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Well, there seem to be workable alternatives to the original deal so hopefully they will get it done soon and everyone can move on.

  • 64 Greg // Jul 26, 2012 at 1:34 pm


    lol and he is 6-11 250 pounds and couldnt guard a snail on the perimeter. we would have the worst defense in the entire league.

    Channings block rate, rebounding rate, and defensive efficiency have all risen. He isnt a good post defender, but he puts in alot of energy and effort into being average in that aspect.

    Kevin Love shoots 3s too, should he be a 2? Maybe 7 footer Andrea Bargnani should move from the 4 to the 2 also because he doesnt play post defense either.

    like i said, we all know you were kidding

    Like i said, we all know you were being

  • 65 bk // Jul 26, 2012 at 1:40 pm


    Yes, but Frye is not a good rebounder. Love is.

  • 66 Greg // Jul 26, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    So, because a guy isnt a great rebounder you play him at a position where he cant defend and he would hurt the team dramatically?

    Please act like you have some basketball knowledge and retract your statement that Frye could move from the 4/5 and play the two…

    if not….there is no hope for you

  • 67 Greg // Jul 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Frye still rebounds better then most 3′s and alot of 4′s. His shooting is a quality skill because it forces PFs and C to come out their and try to guard him, opening up the lane for the offense or giving Frye open looks.

    A SG needs to be able to dribble, put the ball on the floor and get to the free throw line. A sg needs to be able to guards quicker players on the perimeter….

    Nothing in Frye’s game speaks that he should be a 2, or a 3. He is a 4 or a 5 in any league, on any team, in the entire world. He isnt even capable of playing the 2. its dumbfounding you are still trying to make it seem he should.

  • 68 Tony // Jul 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Maybe this is a sign to the Suns from the basketball gods not to trade Lopez for Wesley freaking Johnson smh. Seriously though, to give up a younger legitimgate 7 footer, who’s getting closer to regaining his athleticism with every passing day in exchange for an older wing player whom has been a total bust so far still makes no sense to me. Oh, I know, the lottery protected 1st round pick will net the Suns gold right? Regarding Warrick, doesn’t he have a team option the following year? As such, why not just let him play this year riding the pine and decline his option next season? It’s not as if his salary is currently preventing the FO from signing a high priced player or trading for one.

    Frye most likely won’t be ready by the time the season starts and it’s going to take him awhile to get readjusted once he’s back. With this likely being the case, Scola and Morris are too small to play center, and the Suns become very small until whenever Frye is healthy and comfortable playing again.

    Bad, bad deal for the Suns.

  • 69 Ty-Sun // Jul 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    The problem is that Lopez is still a RFA unless he agrees to signing the Suns’ qualifying offer (which he won’t… at least not right away) and that the Suns aren’t really counting on him as part of their future anymore. All it might take is one team willing to offer him a 3 year $18 offer sheet and the Suns will either have to tie up a load of cap space to keep him or let him go for nothing. I think $6 mil a year is overpaying him but some other team might not. I think that the FO bluffed about wanting to keep Lopez and now every team in the league knows they were bluffing to keep them from throwing offer sheets at him.

    If anyone gives him an offer sheet worth more than what NO is willing to pay him then the entire deal is dead and either the Suns loose Lopez for nothing or they tie up a lot of cap space to keep him.

  • 70 Swag // Jul 26, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    So is there going to be a fourth team involved in this trade?

  • 71 Michael Schwartz // Jul 26, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    @Ty-Sun A very interesting game of poker going on amongst all the parties (Suns, Wolves, Hornets, Lopez). They all need each other to a certain degree, but if one of their situations change (like Lopez getting thrown a fat offer) the entire house of cards tumbles. The Suns seem to be in the best spot on the surface, but if that happens all of a sudden they could be out an asset for nothing. Because all teams need this to a certain degree, it seems likely they will figure out a way to make it work.

    I’m not sure if any team is willing to go 3/18 with Robin. Most teams have already used up all their cap space, which certainly works in the Suns’ advantage. They really need to play this Lopez asset right, and overall this situation is a big test of Babby’s negotiation/CBA analysis skills.

  • 72 Majestic // Jul 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I heard the teams have to wait till Sept 13 for the approval.

  • 73 Ty-Sun // Jul 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    @Michael – I agree it’s unlikely that Lopez gets a 3/18 offer sheet but it could happen. Even a smaller offer sheet by a team that Lopez might prefer could complicate things IF he decides to sign it.

    Even if another team gave him a smaller offer sheet, lets say 3/14, and he actually signed it… wouldn’t that kill the NO/Minn deal? The Suns would not be able to trade him unless they matched the offer sheet first and then they wouldn’t be able to trade him until December if I understand the NBA trade rules correctly.

  • 74 Michael Schwartz // Jul 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    @Majestic That is correct for the current iteration of the trade because that’s when New Orleans could trade Miller along with other players. But I don’t think waiting until then is incredibly likely with all the moving parts (Lopez and AK specifically) involved.

    @Ty-Sun That’s right, once Lopez gets an offer sheet this is all over. The Suns could only either match or let him go at that point. And right, they couldn’t trade him until Dec. 15 to anyone, and they could never trade him to the team that extends the offer sheet and for the first year he could block any such trade.

  • 75 Michael Schwartz // Jul 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Also keep in mind that even if a Lopez deal gets killed, depending on what happens with him they could just do the Minnesota part of the trade and pick up the first for taking on Wes’s contract.

  • 76 Scott // Jul 26, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    I would be fine with that last bit, if it should come to that.

  • 77 Rex // Jul 26, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    If we were to split this trade or go ahead with it by removing Warrick, the Suns lose coz Minny got what they want, NO got Lopez and don’t have to pay Warrick, but we still have to pay him.
    In other to get close to the “everyone kind of win” case, NO will have to give up more. Either they do a protected #1+ Miller for Lopez, or Aminu+Henry(or one of those 2 guys) for Lopez.
    On Minny’s end, I think one #2 pick will be enough (though we could give them 2), simply because they would have had to give NO cash in the original deal. So, since Phx has the space, Johnson+ #1 for cap space+ #2 gets it done.
    So, options;
    1) Suns get 2 #1 (NO and Minny) Miller and Johnson
    NO gets Lopez
    Minny gets 1 or 2 #2

    2) Suns get Aminu+Dylan+Johnson+#1
    NO gets Lopez
    Minny gets 1 or 2 #2

    Option 2 seems like the best case scenario for all teams involved. Minny has no problem (except maybe an extra #2 not getting included), Warrick doesn’t really affects the Suns as we have the space, NO loses something either way (and I love this, they can’t really expect to get something for nothing, that’s against the Law of Continuity), weather its a prospect in Aminu or a #1 pick which will be a good prospect for their young team.

    As a Suns fan and a fan of Aminu, I’ll prefer option 2, but if one is what they go with, I just hope the Suns FO aren’t stupid enough to allow a strong protection. We have what they want/need, which puts us in the driver’s seat. We should be pushing for a no protection to top 5 protection in 2013, top 3 in 14 and no protection in 15. If they can’t take that, then they’ll have to give us a prospect. Whichever they choose, we win.

  • 78 Scott // Jul 26, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    @Rex -

    I do like the trade with Minnesota, in that if Gentry really would play WJ at SF, it could work for this team, and the Suns can use another first round pick, even if it is a low one.

    If the Suns can include Warrick in any deals for Lopez, I think that’s a good idea. However, I’m also okay with the Suns signing Lopez to the same contract the Hornets want to give, and keeping him. There’s no telling how good Frye is going to be coming back in, and now that he’s had his shoulder out twice, it’s just going to be more likely that it will go out again.

    I like Frye, but it could be that he’s the better center to trade. Yes, Lopez has had his own health issues, so it’s not a clear cut determination, even just based on health. But if Frye’s shoulder can go out any time he gets his elbow hit, and thus be out for the season … that’s precarious.

    FWIW, if WJ works out, I think the Suns should start shopping Beasley and/or Scola, in addition to Warrick. I like Scola, but I recognize that a contending team might part with a young asset to get the veteran PF.

    The Suns are going to have a lot of picks coming their way next year. If they can’t find ways to use the picks in trade, they’ll end up with possibly 4 first round picks (or 3 if they can’t do the Minnesota deal), plus one 2nd round pick.

    This is not a bad thing. Picks are cheap to sign, and cheap for years if you keep them.

    If the Suns trade for WJ and keep Lopez and lose their cap space, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. All those picks will have cap exceptions, so the Suns can go over the limit if necessary.

    And if the Suns can’t deal Scola, Beasley, or Warrick this year, at least Warrick will come off the books, and possibly WJ (if he’s acquired), and if needed Brown’s team option can be declined. That’s around $12-13m right there.

  • 79 Rob // Jul 26, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    @ Scott

    From Coon’s CBA FAQ #67:

    The waiving team may not re-sign or re-acquire the player for the length of his contract (which includes seasons following an ETO, but does not include seasons following an option), and the claiming team is prohibited from trading the player until the following July 1.

  • 80 Scott // Jul 26, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    I guess my main points are:

    1) it’s not necessary to trade Lopez now, if he’ll accept a $5m/yr 3 year contract. Sign him, and if you want, trade him after Frye returns, or in the summer, or even next year.

    2) Go ahead and do the deal with Minnesota before they find another suitor. Get WJ and the pick.

  • 81 Scott // Jul 26, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    @Rob -

    Can you point out where that applies? I’m not sure what you’re referring to.

  • 82 Michael Schwartz // Jul 26, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    @Scott He’s talking about Scola. Suns can’t trade him until July 1 because they acquired him via amnesty. That being said, I expect him to become a very attractive trade piece once he’s eligible to be dealt.

  • 83 Scott // Jul 26, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Oh, okay. I didn’t know that, but I’m not in a rush to trade him anyway. I think he could be a good influence on Gortat, as the two expats will probably bond. Hopefully they’ll play a lot of 1-on-1, so Gortat can develop his offense. Gentry may oppose it, but I’d like for Gortat’s game to round out to the extent where he can play PF as an option.

    While I believe the Suns could get value for Scola, Beasley’s the one I’m most anxious to trade. I could change my mind after he shows his stuff with the Suns, but right now I’m thinking he’s a one dimensional player who is likely at his ceiling.

    I’m already liking WJ better. lol

  • 84 Greg // Jul 27, 2012 at 5:47 am

    @ Tony

    Not that i disagree with your post, but you said “an older wing player” regarding Wes Johnson? You do know he just turned 25 and Lopez just turned 24? So i wouldnt consider Johnson and older wing player, considering his NBA experience is also 2 years less then Lopez.

    Morris and Scola are too small for center, agreed. But, opposing centers put up a slightly higher PER against Lopez then they did Scola. The difference is miniscule, but it gives us an idication that we wont lose too much defensively when Scola is at center.

    I know Lopez’s blocking ability and presence make him the superior option, but post defense alone, Scola isnt too much of a downgrade. I would prefer Lopez, but then he needs to be moved once Frye is back in the swing of things, because you can’t run a 5 man front-court rotation, especially when Beasley may see minutes at the 4 as well… Lopez would be struggling to even get his 15 minutes a game, which 7 foot or not, is not worth $4 million in my opinion. (not saying Frye is worth $6.8 but we are stuck with him for now).

    Overall, I disagree with it being a really bad deal for the Suns, but I don’t think it necessarily helps them either. If Wes Johnson offers some length and defense, whether at the 2 or 3 off the bench, and can elevate his shooting percentages a little, then the deal wont be all bad.

    Maybe Johnson (yea he sucks) was out of place as a starter last year. Maybe he lacks confidence and will perform much better as a bench player with a reduced role and reduced pressure?

    We can’t say this would be terrible yet, considering we don’t know what we will get from Johnson (even though we kinda know he will probably still suck).

    The reason I’m not too worried about Lopez leaving is that I dont think Lopez is going to be the player he can be if he gets 15 mins or less a game. If he is healthy, and getting 20+ minutes a night, he could score double digits and give a team more then a block a night. Unfortunately, we wont see that Lopez with our loaded front court. Whether Morris and Scola are big enough or not, we have 2 front court positions, and those guys, along with Frye, Gortat, and maybe even Beasley, need their minutes too.

    Not disagreeing, just suggesting the other side of it

  • 85 Greg // Jul 27, 2012 at 6:10 am


    On your Frye shoulder comment, true shoulders come out more easily once they come out once. Its like a rubber band that has a small cut in it. It can stretch further and further, that shoulder eventually has nothing keeping it sucked into the shoulder socket (the labrum)

    However, Frye didnt have surgury on the first subluxation (partial, not compelte dislocation)? I dont believe he did. Now that he has had it repaired, his shoulder is stronger, and less likley to come out, even prior to the first sublux, when his shoulder was healthy.

    I wouldnt be too worried about this shoulder issue recurring in the future, unless by chance. I have had a similar surgury on both shoulders, total dislocation on one, and for a sublux on the other, and I have had no more problems with either coming out, even through-out the last few football seasons.

    You mention trading Beasley? Why? A 3 year 18 million dollar deal is not one that you sign a guy to if your intentions are to use him as a trade piece. Some people believe 6 million was a little high for him. The only way we can trade him is if his performance dictates that his contract is worthy of being absorbed by a team. In that case, if he is playing well enough for a team to want to take him in, wouldnt we want to keep a young quality talent thats playing well at 6 million a year?? Totally disagree with that suggestion/thought. It would not make any sense at all.

    Only way it makes sense is if Beasley comes out, shoots 43%, averages 15 points 5 boards, plays no defense, and is jacking up shots all over the court, in 33 minutes of action. Then we might say, crap, lets see what we can move this guy, but with that performance/contract, we would never get rid of him.

    Now, if he comes out, scores 19 a game on a decent percentages, grabs 6 or 7 boards and plays mediocre defense, then why wouldnt we want to keep him at 6 mil a season?

  • 86 Greg // Jul 27, 2012 at 7:08 am

    + saying you prefer Johnson over Beasley?

    No way beasley has shown his celing. Guy has averaged 22 and 6 on 48% shooting and 42% from 3 over a two month span before. That is Carmelo like numbers on better much efficiency. We have not seen the celing of Beasley. This could be the year, or the beginning of a sustained production. He is a smooth scorer that can take guys one on one…..Johnson cant take guys one on one and he is not a smooth scorer. Beasley can be a g0-to guy that can potentially win (or lose) games for us based on his performance. Johnson isnt a game changer, and he will just blend in, giving us even less production then Beasley.

  • 87 Scott // Jul 27, 2012 at 9:03 am

    @Greg -

    Good to know about the durability of Frye’s shoulder, post-surgery. I tend to be somewhat suspicious of claims that surgery will make something better than it ever was before, but I can’t deny your personal experience with it.

    As for Beasley, *I* did not sign him, nor would I have. I’ve said from the start that I opposed the signing. If the Suns intended to get Beasley – “because he is a major talent” – they should have picked him up for a song when Miami was trying to deal him and the Suns needed a PF, post-Amare. I suggested it at the time, figuring at that price it was worth the gamble. Instead, the Suns picked up Turkoglu and Warrick.

    A few years later, after Beasley’s performance hasn’t greatly improved but his price tag has tripled, NOW the Suns decide they can’t live without him …? Feh.

    Plus, after they signed Beasley, they got Scola, and now they have to figure out how to make room for Beasley at SF, where people say he doesn’t play as well.

    So understand where my comment is coming from.

    I have no problem with you liking Beasley and thinking he’s the next LeBron or whatever it is you think. I’m just expressing my skepticism. It’s up to Beasley to prove me wrong, and I hope he does.

    I don’t expect the Suns to trade him; certainly not right away. But I do see the signing as an “Aaron Brooks” type move, where they’re sweet on him at the start, and then they realize that what they bought doesn’t fit and have remorse.

    As for me liking Johnson better, I did include the “lol” to indicate a wry laughter.

    I see Beasley as an offensive player who can create his own shot when he’s at the 4, who can dunk, and who can shoot the 3. From what people say, I’m not sure if Beasley can create his shot when he’s at the 3, against faster, more agile defenders. If I have it right, playing at the position the Suns plan to use him at, he earned a PER of 13, which is below average. (Lopez has a PER of 15, yet a lot of fans hate him.) Beasley’s young, 23, but he’s been in the league now for 4 years, so what we see should be pretty much what we get.

    I see Johnson as a defensive SF who can shoot the 3 and dunk, but who cannot create his own shot. So he sounds similar to Beasley when he’s at SF, but with defense. Johnson earned a dismal PER of 8, but he was playing out of position, in a manner that didn’t allow him to make full use of his offensive skills. Despite being older, 25, he’s only been in the league for 2 years, so he may still be adapting to NBA play.

    When you consider that the Suns signed Beasley for $6m/year for 3 years, and they’d have Johnson for 1 year at $4m plus a pick … I think the Johnson deal is the better deal if they plan to play him at SF. If Johnson can contribute on defense and hit the 3, and cut for the occasional lob, that’s the sort of thing the Suns need, as they like to spread the floor for the PG/center pick and roll.

    Obviously, if Beasley can do his offensive thing at the 3, and if he can defend at the 3, then he’s the winner. But what I hear from others and see in his PER is that he has tried and he can’t do it.

  • 88 Scott // Jul 27, 2012 at 9:19 am

    @Greg -

    BTW, Carmelo’s PER is 21.

  • 89 Greg // Jul 27, 2012 at 9:19 am

    @ Scott Whoa whoa lol, never said anything about Lebron. I said he has put up carmelo type numbers for a 2 month stretch before. Beasley scored 19.2 ppg in 2010, 2011 was a season in which he was injured off and on and he fell out of favor with Adelman. Last year, as hard as it is to do, you just need to overlook because it wasnt the type of season you expect an immature 23 year old to handle very well.

    I feel Beasley was being legit when he spoke on his improved work ethic and his work with Norm Nixon may payy huge dividends. He can shoot, he can jam, and he has the length to defend, he just needs to get his lateral quickness up, which may have been improved this off-season.

    With 32-35 mins a game, I can realistically scoring around 20 points, with around 5-7 boards, and shooting percentages closer to 2010 then 2011. At 23, with improved work ethic and focus, his defense may become above average, or atleast average. that player in my opinion is worth 6 million a season, on any team.

    But like you said, its up to him to answer these questions.

    Johnson is a defensive SF…well thats what his scouting report says coming into the league. So far, he has been solid at best. his defense is not a huge upgrade from Beasleys. Dont remember the numbers but i looked them up the other day. beasley is a better shooter then johnson, in my opinion, and the percentages show that as well.

    Saying Beasley is what he is after 4 years may be a little pessimistic. 19-23 is a tough age for anyone, let alone a professional basketball player, former number 2 pick that had high expectations. People already have written him off as a bust, so there is no pressure to do to much in PHX. With the confidence of the staff and org. and pairing with a young PG like Goran, i think he will do well.

    He has had his maturity issues, and i feel he may be on the path to a nice NBA career, although not Lebron nice lol.

    Just my opinion, Im happy with the signing. agreed 2 years ago would have been cheaper and nicer, but cant do anything about it now. We have a guy who has proven he can score near 20 a game, for 6 mil. I dont mind that, despite his defensive deficincies.

  • 90 Greg // Jul 27, 2012 at 9:23 am

    @ scott, im not saying he is carmelo, go look at his 2 month stretch in 2010, not his PER (i never spoke on that) his points, percentages and rebounding is comparable (actually on better %) then Carmelo was this year.

    Like i said, I am not an idiot, I am aware Beasley wont be, and isnt Carmelo. I am just saying Beasley has show big time scoring ability when he has been healthy and has had regular minutes.

  • 91 Greg // Jul 27, 2012 at 9:29 am

    and if you want to compare PERs, Beasley’s first two years in the league were almost identical to Carmelo’s first two years in the league

    17.3 and 16.2 for Beasley, and 17.6 and 16.8 for Carmelo.

    Carmelo took the leap, Beasley took the fall, but their circumstances were total opposites. Beasley still has hope, but if he doesnt show some improvement this year, I will close the door on him also.

  • 92 Scott // Jul 27, 2012 at 9:37 am

    @Greg -

    In 2010, was Beasley playing at PF or SF? Or a mix? IIRC (and I may not), in 2010-11 when the Suns played against the Wolves, Beasley played a fair number of minutes at PF.

    In 2010-2011 – the season you cite as his best season – he had a PER of 15, same as Lopez last year. In that year, critics said he could not handle or pass well, he lacked the athleticism to cope with SFs, and should play at PF.

    Here’s an example:

  • 93 Scott // Jul 27, 2012 at 9:40 am

    @Greg -

    It sounds like everyone knows Beasley can score when at PF, but then they turn around and put him at SF.

  • 94 Scott // Jul 27, 2012 at 9:45 am

    @Greg -

    Also, if you’re looking at the trajectory of Beasley’s PER and believing he’s going to improve …

    Beasley: 17.28, 16.16, 15.54, 13.11

    What is his likely PER in the next year? ;)

  • 95 Greg // Jul 27, 2012 at 9:46 am

    I dont disagree with you on where he should play @ Scott, that hasnt been the issue. I think he should be a PF despite the Sun’s plans for him to be the 3. I have never denied the physical evidence pointing to that.

    However, with improved work ethic, focus.maturity and fixing some of his many weaknesses, although fair, I think its wrong to assume he cant make an adjustment as a 23/24 year old that features the athleticism he has. Not saying athleticism=success/improvement, thats where hopefully his:
    “6 am to 4pm, gym, running, shooting, more gym, more shooting, 2 types of martial arts, ballet and yoga” come into play.

    Or maybe he was blowing smoke up our asses, no pun intended.

  • 96 Greg // Jul 27, 2012 at 9:53 am

    I see your point on PER, i noticed that scary trend. But he went from a 4 in Miami, to a terrible team in Minnesota, and he was oft playing out of position. He went from a decent Miami Heat team to a horrid Timberwolves team, surrounded by no veteran presence and an extreme lack of talent.

    Its fair to say his environment and personal choices were the main reasons for his decline in PER, not his ability as an athlete and as a basketball player.

    As a young kid, going from top prospect playing next to D-Wade to playing on the Timberwolves can do much to help his inspiration to work hard and his overall attitude.

    No way he gets worse then 13 PER, you cant be any worse with the talent he has. , and as i mentioned, last year was an outlier in my opinion, alot of circumstances led to his performance.

    I see a realistic return to around 15 or 16. wjhich is fair to assume, and hopefully more so beyond year 1

  • 97 Scott // Jul 27, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Well, then you probably understand why I wrote what I did about Johnson possibly being a better choice for the SF spot.

    FWIW, Beasley is probably a better choice for backup PF, but the Suns signed him to too large of a contract for that (a pattern they’ve had). Rule of thumb: a tweener is a backup.

    If the Suns had offered Beasley $4m a year with the idea of playing him as starting PF only if they didn’t get a true PF, then it would make sense.

    And if they’re thinking they can drop Lopez, and play Morris at 2nd C, with Beasley at PF, till Frye heals up, then that makes sense.

    But signing Beasley to $6m and playing him at SF makes no sense.

    If the Suns really ARE thinking of playing Beasley at PF, and are looking for another SF, then James Johnson ($2.8m/1 yr) at Sacramento fits the need and the dollar figure for the proposed Lopez trade. However, seeing as the Kings paid a 2nd round pick to get him, they’ll need a similar inducement + something to let him go.

  • 98 Greg // Jul 27, 2012 at 10:03 am

    2nd round picks are garbage, i dont think that would be a problem.

    I feel like we thought we were debating two different things, but i understand your points and hopefully you understand mine. However, Wesley Johnson had an 8 PER, I dont care if he was playing out of position or not, thats pretty horrid, so not sure if he would be “better” then Beasley. but who knows.

    Positive: By the trade deadline, if Beasley is underperforming at the 3, which I think he will improve, but still be less of a force at the 3 then the 4, then the Suns do have a very attractive Luis Scola they can move.

    A contender/playoff team would love to have Scola at about 4.5 mil a season. He could start for alot of teams or play a crucial bench role. That would open up time for Beasley, increasing his productivity too.

    I like Scola, but at 32 and a 3 year deal, he is very expendable. Obviously building for the future, Beasley at the 4 makes more sense then Scola, but im not knocking the Scola pickup

  • 99 Scott // Jul 27, 2012 at 10:17 am

    @Greg -

    I agree a PER of 8 is scary. But consider that Martell Webster, who played well at Portland, also got dismal numbers (PER 10) playing at SG in the Minnesota system. And he’s got a game that actually works for SG, unlike WJ, who is really locked into being a SF.

    So the low SG numbers in Minnesota might be at least in part due to system and personnel.

    As for Scola, I’ve heard on VotS that he cannot be traded till next summer. (See posts #79 and #82 in this thread.)

  • 100 Scott // Jul 27, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Here’s some more comments by Wolves fans/critics on Johnson and Beasley, mainly about how both players were out of position. (As was Martell Webster, a natural SF whose game was better suited to SG than Johnson, but he just didn’t have the needed speed, which matches my recollection.)

    Shooting guard has been the weakest position for the Timberwolves for years and it remains so heading into the 2011-2012 season’s free-agency period. Wesley Johnson is a natural 3 who was miscast as a jump shooter in Rambis’ mess of an offense. Johnson is at his best in transition and when he attacks the basket with his length and athleticism, but last season 89% of his shots were jumpers. Unless he sees a shift back to the 3 he should continue to struggle.

    Gambling on Beasley was a perfectly logical move, but so far as a Timberwolf he hasn’t impressed. He did put up 19.2 PPG last season, but it took a 28.3 usage rate to get him there. Beasley finished at #10 in the league for usage rate just ahead of Dirk Nowitzki. Yes, Minnesota gave Beasley more of their offensive opportunities than Dallas did Dirk Nowitzki.

    In terms of efficiency giving over a quarter of your looks to a player who is barely above average in offensive efficiency (15.5 PER in 2010-2011) is not going to win you many games.

    If Minnesota’s going to win at all this year Beasley cannot continue to take that many shots or absorb that many minutes at SF. His 19.3 opponent PER was miserable and speaks to his inability to keep up laterally with quick 3s.

  • 101 Greg // Jul 27, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Oh i didnt not realize that about Scola. Regardless, if the Suns are performing poorly, as is Beasley at the 3, reducing Scola’s minutes slightly to increase Beasley’s time at the 4 would be beneficial. Scola would then become a nice trade piece entering free agency next year, and if the Suns dont plan on him remaining for full 3 years, adjusting Beasley and Scola’s roles would make sense to accomodate, but not to the point of hurting Scola’s value. It would be a tough mix for Gentry.

    I never disagreed with the reports/comments on beasley. He has been a ball-hog that has underperformed. However, my whole stance has been on the fact that a change of scenery, maturity, and work-ethic can go a long, long way.

    Just because Beasley has been average, and then below average, the last two years, does not mean the young man cant make positive adjustments in his game. I am sure the people around him now will let Beasley know that point too (that he cant take bad shots just to get his). An adjusted offensive mindset, Beasley can use the skills he has to be a quality scorer with a less usage rate. Consider though, Dirk was on a championship team, top player or not, his usage rate will go down due to other options. Beasley was the best scorer on that team other than Love, so Beasley was going to have a higher usage rate.

    Arguement has never been that Beasley has been good, or has done things well at the 3, or even at the 4 in his career. My stance is that he has the upside, he has the talent, and all of the reasons I mentioned above can cause Beasley to do a 180.

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