Robin Lopez trade hits snag due to CBA rules


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?

  • HoopsNerdUK

    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.

  • Mister X

    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.

  • Joe

    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?

  • Sksyoshi

    @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.

  • Bassy

    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

  • Majestic

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

  • Greg

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

  • Grant

    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?

  • Jason A.

    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.

  • Jeremy A

    I already bought my Wes Johnson jersey…

  • Shawn

    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!

  • Mike

    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?

  • Joe

    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.

  • Bryan

    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.

  • Scott

    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.

  • Scott

    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

  • Kelvin

    Did Hornet use the non-taxpayer mid-level exception

  • steve

    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.

  • joey

    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?

  • http://jeffgubernick@cox.net jeff

    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.

  • bk

    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.

  • Yohance

    Dang,

    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…

  • http://ballcruncher.com Mr. Cruncher

    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: http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=cdy5d7e

    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: http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=bvkjbv6

    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.

  • Ryan

    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.

    • http://www.valleyofthesuns.com Michael Schwartz

      @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.

  • Ryan

    Minny not money

  • http://none.com Russell

    @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.

  • http://none.com Russell

    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.

  • Animan

    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.

  • Ryan

    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.

  • Andrew

    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.

  • http://www.valleyofthesuns.com Michael Schwartz

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

  • Ryan

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

  • Andy

    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.

    @Michael
    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.

    • http://www.valleyofthesuns.com Michael Schwartz

      @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.

  • Greg

    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.

  • Greg

    rebounder*

  • Andy

    @greg
    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.

  • sun also rises

    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

  • bk

    Hornets has no cap space left this year (http://www.hoopsworld.com/new-orleans-hornets-team-salary). 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.

  • Andy

    @michael
    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. :) )

  • http://ballcruncher.com Mr. Cruncher

    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.

    • http://www.valleyofthesuns.com Michael Schwartz

      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.

  • Bryan

    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?

    • http://www.valleyofthesuns.com Michael Schwartz

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

      • http://www.valleyofthesuns.com Michael Schwartz

        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!

  • Grant

    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.

  • Bryan

    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.

  • bk

    Please…… according to http://www.hoopsworld.com/phoenix-suns-team-salary, 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.

  • Greg

    @ 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.

  • Scott

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

    • http://www.valleyofthesuns.com Michael Schwartz

      @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).

  • http://jtshoopsblog.blogspot.com JT’s Hoops Blog

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

  • bk

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

  • nashty

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

    • http://www.valleyofthesuns.com Michael Schwartz

      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?”

  • Bryan

    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.

    • http://www.valleyofthesuns.com Michael Schwartz

      @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.