The New Orleans Pelicans are in hot pursuit of Sacramento Kings restricted free agent Tyreke Evans but that means we may have some movement on their current roster. If Evans does come to town, the matter of Robin Lopez’s contract will need to be discussed and so far many have speculated that Evans’ arrival means Lopez will be dealt in at trade.
As Chuck Myron stated, the Pelicans would be idiotic to just cut Lopez before shopping him in a trade but the center’s contract will be something tough to get around.
I’d imagine the Pelicans would seek trade options for Lopez before simply cutting him loose. The rumored offer to Evans, at four years and $58MM, would push New Orleans to roughly $53.5MM worth of guaranteed salary for 2013/14, not including Lopez’s deal.
Lopez is set to make just over $5 million if he’s not waived but if he’s not waived by this Friday, his deal is only guaranteed for $500K which is something the Pelicans might decide isn’t a big deal to eat.
There’s also the matter of teams knowing they might cut him loose that would put a kink in trade talks as it would bottom out Lopez’s value since he wouldn’t command that much money on the open market and may not be worth surrendering certain assets to acquire.
Still, it appears that with Evans coming to town, either in a sign-and-trade or from the offer sheet the Pelicans gave him, the end of Robin Lopez’s time on the bayou seems to be near.