Just days after retaining Eric Gordon and keeping him from becoming a member of the Suns, the New Orleans Hornets are trying to do more damage to the Suns roster once again. New Orleans is looking to add center Robin Lopez to their roster in a possible sign and trade with Phoenix, according to Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Heading into the offseason, the Suns front office made it clear that it was a priority to bring back Lopez. Suns president Lon Babby even came out and said that they would match any offer from another team, but Portland has been the only other team that has showed interest in Lopez up until this report came out.
For the Hornets, this move would make a ton of sense for a team that has had a very busy offseason so far. At the moment, New Orleans only true center on the roster is veteran Brad Miller. Rookie Anthony Davis has the length to play there, but heading into his first season in the league, the youngster is best suited to play power forward. Lopez's age, length and upside intrigues the Bees front office.
Moving Lopez makes sense for the Suns at this time. Marcin Gortat is a lock to get at least 30 minutes a game next season, which leaves very little playing time for Lopez off the bench. After signing Luis Scola, Phoenix is suddenly deep at the power forward/center positions as well. If Lopez is dealt, Channing Frye can slide to backing up Gortat at center like he did during the Suns playoff run a couple years back with Scola capable of playing at the five spot as well.
The front office's patience with Lopez appears to have run out as well. The 24-year-old did have a nice second half to his season, but there were too many times where he didn't show up to play and showed a lack of maturity on the floor. With the Steve Kerr regime having drafted him, it is becoming more clear that this front office isn't very high on a big man who doesn't block shots and isn't a very good rebounder.
Babby's comments earlier in the offseason of wanting to match any offer that was presented to them by another team was an obvious ploy on the front office's part. There is no way the Suns would match an expensive long-term deal if Lopez was indeed given one.
There has been no word on who would want to be involved in a potential deal. There are reports that the Suns want a first round pick for Lopez while the Hornets are only offering a second round pick. Hornets247.com offered a deal of shooting guard Xavier Henry and a second round pick for Lopez, which I think the Suns would be really stupid to pass up if that ever becomes an offer.
If the two sides can't come to an agreement on a deal, Lopez will more than likely sign his qualifying offer of just over $4 million for next season and remain in a Suns uniform due to a lack of interest from other teams. Lopez will then become an unrestricted free agent next season and will be free to sign anywhere of his choosing.
In my view, that day can't come soon enough.