Robin Lopez to New Orleans Nearly Done?
The chances of the Suns completing a trade that sends away Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick and brings in Wesley Johnson and a first-round pick improved Thursday, but its completion remained tenuous with resolution expected Friday.
The three-way agreement among Phoenix, New Orleans and Minnesota did not completely fit collective bargaining agreement rules regarding what the Suns were receiving.
In the deal, Lopez and Warrick would go to New Orleans and Minnesota would send a conditional first-round pick, either its own or one owed them by Memphis, to the Suns along with Johnson, a third-year swingman. The draft pick would have top-14 protection for coming years.
The Suns would take Brad Miller’s contract from New Orleans and pay his $800,000 buyout because he is retiring while also sending cash to New Orleans.
If the trade is completed, the Suns likely would sign a free-agent center to meet the league’s 13-man roster minimum but still have about $7 million of salary-cap room to use if a midseason trade arose. The Suns also could keep the space and be in position to pursue a major free agent next summer.
If the three-way trade does not work, Warrick would remain under contract with Phoenix, and Lopez likely would return on his $4 million qualifying offer for one season.