Reports: Blazers, Pelicans, Kings Agree To Trade That Lands Robin Lopez In Portland

Stephen Dunn

The Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings have reportedly agreed to a three-way trade that will land Robin Lopez in Portland.

Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports on Twitter that the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings have agreed to a three-way trade that will land Robin Lopez in Portland.

New Orleans, Portland and Sacramento have just verbally agreed to complete three-way trade July 10 that locks up Tyreke Evans as a Pelican

Deal will be completed July 10, sources say, sending Evans to Pelicans via S-and-T. Robin Lopez to Portland; Greivis Vasquez to Sacramento

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports also reports the deal's agreement.

The New Orleans Pelicans have reached agreement on a three-way deal with Sacramento and Portland to acquire guard Tyreke Evans, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

As part of a sign-and-trade arrangement, Evans will come to the Pelicans on a four-year, $44 million contract. New Orleans will send guard Greivis Vasquez to the Kings and center Robin Lopez to the Trail Blazers, sources said.

Portland will send future draft considerations and cash in the deal, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Sam Amick of USA Today Sports reports on Twitter...

The Kings get a second-round pick from Portland in the three-team trade with New Orleans as well, I'm told.

Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports on Twitter...

Portland also gets Terrel Harris with Robin Lopez, pays Lopez's $1.6M trade kicker and sends two second-rounders to SAC

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports on Twitter...

Portland will send Jeff Withey to Pelicans as part of 3-team deal, league source tells Y!

Here are Dave's thoughts from last month about possibly trading the No. 10 pick for Lopez.

Yes it can be done financially. Maybe it can be done talent-wise. It might be worth doing if you can't find any other centers or if you plan to make your big splash with a guard instead or if you believe in the Awesome Power of Meyers Leonard. Aldridge would be happy until he figures out that Lopez doesn't rebound, doesn't defend that well, has no face-up game, considers fouling a second religion, never passes the ball, and pretty much only blocks shots. His offense is efficient though. And he's cheap. In an ideal world he's my back-up center, not a starter. I might be able to get a back-up center with that 10 pick though, if I'm so inclined.

More thoughts from Dave here.

I could maybe see picking him up as a free agent if you believe he has more to give, but trading anything significant for him seems like a bad move.

John Reid of NOLA.com offered this year-end assessment of Lopez.

In four seasons with the Suns, Lopez could not avoid injuries that included a foot fracture, a bulging disk and knee problems. ... Not only did Lopez avoid injuries [in New Orleans], he became only the ninth player in franchise history to start all 82 games and was one of just 15 players in the NBA to do it this season.

Taking advantage of a fresh start in the Big Easy, Lopez averaged career-highs in points (11.3), rebounds (5.6), blocks (1.6 ) and minutes played (26.0) this season. He led the team in scoring seven games and finished with nine double-doubles. Defensively, Lopez also finished with a team-high 128 blocks.

...

"I never stressed it (offense) at the forefront of my game," Lopez said. "I've always tried to be a defensive-minded center, but I had an opportunity to develop that part of my game and I want to be good at everything. I think it's special for any NBA player to be able to play at both ends of the floor.''

...

"Defensively, I would like for him to be a force around the basket, blocking more shots and rebounding more," [coach Monty] Williams said. "Defensively, I think he's got to become more of a force for us around the basket. I think he's more than capable athletically to do that."

Mason Ginsberg of Bourbon Street Shots writes...

2012-13 Season Strengths

Interior Defense

Lopez was a solid contributor as a paint protector this season both as a help defender and in the post. When opponents posted him up, he held them to .73 points per play (per MySynergy Sports), which is not elite, but certainly above average. In addition, he posted a career high block rate, swatting 5% of opponents' field goal attempts while he was on the floor. Many of these blocks were a result of strong post D, but he picked up a decent number of them through help defense as well. The Hornets' team stats back up Lopez's defensive ability as well, as opponents scored 2.2 points per 100 possessions less with him on the court.

2012-13 Season Weaknesses

Defensive Rebounding

Lopez came into the season as a poor defensive rebounder, and did nothing to alter people's opinions throughout it. His defensive rebound rate of 13.4% was his worst since his rookie season and well below the recent average for NBA centers of around 20%. That being said, there is a case to be made that Robin doesn't hurt his team in this area quite as much as his personal rebounding numbers may suggest. As a team, the Hornets posted a DRR of 75.7% with Lopez on the court, but only 72.8% with him on the bench. After seeing this stat, I looked to see whether or not Lopez was largely just benefiting from Aminu's rebounding prowess this season, but that is not the case. With both Lopez and Aminu on the court, the Hornets' DRR was 75.6%, but with Lopez on and Aminu off, that number actually rose slightly to 76% (via NBAWowy). Based on this data, one could make the claim that Lopez was a plus on the defensive glass, but made his mark in the form of making his top priority boxing out his man as opposed to chasing down boards. Regardless, it's something that Lopez has to improve upon if he wants to be taken seriously as a legitimate starting NBA center.

Defense away from the rim

Lopez struggled mightily on defense outside of the paint, repeatedly getting abused in the pick and roll when forced to switch onto the ball-handler. The fourth quarter of the giant Lakers comeback is likely what will stick out the most, but has been a problem throughout his career. Centers frequently suffer when switched onto a guard as a result of a screen, but Robin struggled more than most due to his lack of anything remotely resembling foot speed. That being said, he was one of the best players in the NBA at stopping the screener from putting himself in a position to score, allowing just .57 points per play in those situations, 7th best in the NBA (per MySynergy Sports). Unfortunately, he got absolutely wrecked on spot-ups; he allowed 1.08 points per play, which doesn't even crack the top 300. Apart from post-ups, this type of play was where the highest percentage of his defense was played, so it's clearly something he needs to work on.

One writer saw Lopez as one of five players the Blazers should target in free agency or trades this summer.

Lopez, 25, is the twin brother of Brooklyn Nets All-Star center Brook Lopez. He averaged 11.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks for the Pelicans last season. He spent the first four years of his career with the Phoenix Suns and holds career averages of 7.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game.

Lopez is on the books for $5.1 million in 2013-14 and $5.3 million in 2014-15. Both years will become fully guaranteed after July 5, according to StorytellersContracts.com.

New Orleans ranked No. 15 in offensive efficiency, No. 28 in defensive efficiency and No. 7 in rebound rate last season.

Harris, 25, averaged 0.8 points and 0.5 assists in 6.9 minutes per game in 20 appearances for the Miami Heat and Pelicans last season. He was released by the Heat in January and picked up on a pair of 10-day contract in March and then signed for the rest of the season by the Pelicans. His contract for the 2013-14 season in non-guaranteed until Oct. 31.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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