UPDATE 8:44 am: According to an updated Arizona Republic story, there are “significant issues” to be worked out to make this trade come together. While the sides have agreed to a deal in principle, the money may not fit league trade guidelines and could be rejected.
If so, Lopez likely plays out next season on a $4 million qualifying offer and stays with the Suns.
And this would force Minnesota to find another trade partner to clear up some cap space if they want to sign Andrei Kirilenko.
3:18 am: David Kahn has a plan and it is coming together to get him Andrei Kirilenko. Probably.
Step one was to be a facilitator in a three-team deal that would send Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick from the Suns to the Hornets, and a big step forward was taken when Lopez agreed to a three-year, $15.3 million sign-and-trade, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. There is a deal in principle.
The rest of the deal included the Timberwolves sending small forward Wesley Johnson and a lottery-protected first-round draft pick to the Suns, sources said. Brad Miller’s expiring contract goes to the Suns, while the T’wolves receive Jerome Dyson and two future second-round draft picks from New Orleans.
However, Suns officials told Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic that the deal may not happen because it is hard to fit into league trade rules. There is an agreement in principle but a lot of things still have to come together.
If it does come together, step two for Minnesota, is to finalize a two-year, $20 million deal with Kirilenko (the second year is a player option. Which they are close to doing. But that couldn’t happen until they cleared out some cap space, which this trade did. For the record, I think this is overpaying for Kirilenko, who is good but not worth quite that much.
For the Hornets, this is a nice move. They get a real center to provide support as they groom Anthony Davis. Lopez could start at the five, have Davis at the four and allow them to use Ryan Anderson as a three or off the bench. New Orleans is going to be a fun team to watch next season.
The Suns get to give Johnson another shot, save some money and get a first round pick out of the deal. All things you do when you go into the rebuilding mode that they are.