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Report: Three team deal sending Lopez to Hornets in danger

Jul 26, 2012, 8:44 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns, Game 4 Getty Images

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.

  1. minnesotablizzard - Jul 26, 2012 at 4:36 AM

    Timberwolves are the international all stars featuring Kevin Love

  2. doctorfootball - Jul 26, 2012 at 6:50 AM

    They’re going to be exciting to watch with Rubio back. That said, they still won’t play defense. As good as Love and Rubio are, neither plays any defense. And, Love, especially gets pushed around in the post.

    • gnu2308 - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:06 AM

      You shouldn’t speak in generalizations, it makes you look ignorant. Rubio was fantastic on defense last year before his injury. Go look at points given up before the Rubio injury and after the Rubio injury. Once you have confirmation that you do not know what the f you are talking about, we will then need you to stick to football, ok doctorfootball?

      Good day sir.

    • benjgold12 - Jul 26, 2012 at 9:08 AM

      KLove’s defending skills are a bit questionable indeed, but Rubio is a great defender. Terrible analysis on Ricky. There was a game last year I can remember against the Bulls at home where the Wolves started off horribly getting in a huge hole, Ricky helped bring them right back into the game all while nearly shutting down the reigning MVP to the point of frustration. Rubio’s lack of strength is offset by his willingness to constantly play at 100% both sides of the floor. Kevin on the other hand plays 100% on one side and about 50% on the other.

      As for the Wolves defense as a whole next season, adding AK-47 to the mix helps tremendously. He is a long athletic 3 who is an excellent shot blocker, something the Wolves have not had since……?. Outside of spending way too much time in a situation that he should have not been in (Batum) Kahn has had a pretty solid offseason. Got rid of the cancers (beasley, Wes, Randolph, Webster, DARKO), and added experience.



      Looks like a playoff team to me.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:50 AM

        Should be 45-50 wins and a playoff team. That’s the goal this year is to make the playoffs. Adelman had them close and in contention until Rubio’s injury. Then things fell apart.

  3. mnskolvikes - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    Rubio is a stellar defender. Just needs some bulk.

  4. bparmalee - Jul 26, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    I don’t get this trade for the T-Wolves. I understand they want to clear space to sign AK but why are they willing to give up a 1st round pick for the pleasure of helping the Suns and Hornets? Someone would take Wesley Johnson off their hands.. I’m sure and they would save themselves a pick. Getting back Dyson… who won’t even be a rotation player and two 2nd round picks is way too low for Johnson and a 1st round pick. Where the hell are my Pacers when the T-Wolves are in crazy mode??

    • monkeyhateclean - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:47 AM

      Essentially, Minny is trading a #1 pick (lotto protected) for AK, a couple 2nd round picks and the privilege of ridding themselves of Wes Johnson. The assets coming in are better than the ones leaving, so good move for them, even if AK can’t produce up to that $10 mil contract anymore.

      • bparmalee - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:15 PM

        I just can’t imagine that some team wouldn’t take a flyer on Wes Johnson for free…. without having to be compensated with a 1st round pick. I know they need to clear him for AK but I’m not sure AK himself is worth even a middle or late first round pick. There are players at the back ends of these drafts.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:48 AM

        Sure AK is worth a late round pick. Don’t forget those late round picks come with guaranteed contracts. Something the Wolves don’t need, since my guess is, they are the youngest team in the league. Even with a 31 year old Ak-47

    • brewdogg - Jul 26, 2012 at 11:36 AM

      Think of it as similar to when the Sixers dealt Rodney Carney and a 1st to the wolves for a 2nd so they could sign Brand.

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