Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.com is reporting that a 3-team trade between the New Orleans Hornets, Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns is close to completion.
The Suns would receive former top 5 pick Wesley Johnson from the Wolves, as well as a first-round pick.
The Hornets would get center Robin Lopez and forward Hakim Warrick from Phoenix. Lopez would then sign a 3-year, $15 million dollar deal with New Orleans in a sign-and-trade.
It’s not clear as to what exactly the Wolves will be receiving in this deal, but it’s believed that the team is hoping to clear more salary cap space in order to pursue other free-agents such as Andrei Kirelenko.
Grade for Hornets: B
Robin Lopez will never be confused for his brother Brook as far as his offensive game goes, but what Robin lacks in scoring, he certainly makes up for in a strong defensive presence and above-average shot blocking in the paint.
His numbers won’t blow you away (5.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 0.9 blocks), but that’s because Lopez has never had steady consistent minutes since entering the league back in 2008. Robin has never averaged more than 19 minutes a game in his career.
The Hornets could easily start Lopez at the 5 and move Anthony Davis to the 4 or vice-versa, but I expect New Orleans to bring Robin off the bench and start Davis and the newly acquired Ryan Anderson. As backup centers go, Robin Lopez is as solid as they come.
Warrick will get spot minutes here and there and be a nice backup 3/4 for the second unit. He’s undersized for the power forward position and isn’t much of a defender, but he’s a solid scorer and a good energy guy to have.
Grade for Suns: B -
Phoenix is hoping that a change of scenery will be good for Wesley Johnson.
Since being drafted 4th overall by the Timberwolves back in 2010, Johnson has failed to average more than 10 points a game in a season, seemingly labelling him as an early “bust” pick. His poor shooting percentage (39% from the field) goes hand-in-hand with his lack of scoring.
Regardless of that, the Suns needed a shooting guard to go along with Shannon Brown.
Johnson still has a lot of untapped potential and could find a career rejuvenation with the Suns, but this could be his last chance to show that he has something to offer an NBA squad.
As always, first-round picks are always nice to have and Phoenix adds yet another one with this deal.
Grade for Timberwolves: N/A
Outside of some cleared salary cap space, it’s not yet confirmed whether or not Minnesota will be getting any players in this deal.
It’s being said that the team is currently in talks with former Jazz player Andrei Kirelenko (who played last season over in Russia), so if this deal gives the Wolves enough room to sign AK-47, this deal will look all the better.
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports