CBA Holds up Robin Lopez Trade to Hornets

Soon enough, Robin

The retired Brad Miller has come back from the dead to put a halt to the recently agreed upon trade between the New Orleans Hornets, Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns that would send Robin Lopez to our beloved Hornets. There are two potential problems, as stated in the completely understandable CBA (sarcasm), that specifically refer to Brad Miller and his involvement in the ordeal. First of all, we assumed that Brad Miller would be heading to Phoenix in the deal but multiple publications (including ESPN) still report Miller as heading back to Minnesota in the trade. There is a problem with that:

A team cannot reacquire a player they traded away during that season (a season being July 1 - June 30). If he is waived by his new team, then he cannot re-sign with his original team until the one-year anniversary of the trade, or until the July 1 following the end of his contract, whichever comes first. However, if a team trades a player's draft rights, they can reacquire the player during the same season

That's from question 97 in the NBA's CBA Faq that's linked above. If it is true that Miller is indeed going back to Minnesota, then this trade will not be legal at all until next off season. So, therefore, it's probably not likely that Miller is headed back to Minnesota. So we'll assume that the publications are incorrect in reporting that Miller is heading back to Minnesota and that he simply was to go to Phoenix all along (as we assumed). However, there's a problem with that as well:

For two months after receiving the player in trade, if the trade aggregates the player's salary with the salaries of other players. However, the team is free to trade the player immediately, either by himself or without aggregating his salary with other salaries. This restriction applies only to teams over the salary cap.

If that is the case, then we'll have some time to wait before the trade becomes official. The Hornets officially traded for Brad Miller on July 13th. Going by the above provision in the NBA's CBA, the Hornets cannot move Miller until September 13th at the earlier; at least not in a multiple team deal.

So there is a hold up until the deal can be completed. I'm sure the Suns don't want to really hold on to Hakim Warrick and still want to unload him from their roster with this trade. I doubt they would facilitate a trade for Lopez to New Orleans without finding someone to absorb Warrick's deal. By the CBA's rules, a straight swap of Brad Miller for Robin Lopez would work in the current with all other pieces coming into place later, but that screws Minnesota (and Phoenix) in the long run. So the possibility of that happening is unlikely. So the Hornets are left with little options here. They could wait until the September deadline (which is what I suggest would happen) and then let the trade become official or they may have to look elsewhere. Because the deal even puts a hold on the Timberwolves impending acquisition of Andrei Kirilenko. Essentially, all parties will have to wait patiently until September 13th to make the deal (and possibly any other deal they'd like to make) and that's a lot to ask. But we'll see if the deal continues to go through and if the Hornets are going to end up with Robin Lopez after all.

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