Lopez to Hornets in 3-team trade now official
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Hornets, Suns and Timberwolves have completed a three-team deal that will send 7-foot center Robin Lopez and forward Hakim Warrick from Phoenix to New Orleans, while moving forward Wes Johnson and a future first-round draft pick from Minnesota to the Suns.
Word of the multiplayer trade first broke on Wednesday, though the final version had minor changes.
The deal sends the contracts of Jerome Dyson and Brad Miller from New Orleans to Phoenix. Minnesota also receives three second-round draft picks in the deal.
The acquisition of Lopez fills a need at center for the Hornets, who traded away Emeka Okafor and let Chris Kaman go in free agency.
"We wanted to fill the center position and we feel like Robin fits in with our timeline — a young player that has experience in the league and will have an opportunity to come in and contribute and help us," Hornets general manager Dell Demps said. "He brings a defensive presence. We hung our hat on our defense since we've been here. His size and his athleticism we think will really anchor our defense."
While the Hornets were able to draft 6-11 Kentucky star Anthony Davis first overall in last month's draft, Davis is expected to play often at power forward because his slender build could leave him at a defensive disadvantage in 1-on-1 matchups against some of the league's more powerful centers such as Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum.
The Hornets also have 7-footer Jason Smith on the roster, and while he has filled in at center well when called upon, he has been primarily a reserve power forward during his career.
New Orleans now has made two trades to acquire new frontcourt players, having also dealt forward Gustavo Ayon to Orlando for 6-10 sharpshooter Ryan Anderson, a perimeter threat who can space out a defense. Lopez was drafted 15th overall by the Suns in 2008. Before that, he starred at Stanford with his twin brother, Brook, now a starter with Brooklyn Nets.