The NBA free agency frenzy is on. As of 9 PM MST on Saturday night, teams have been calling up any and all of their targets, trying to woo them to join their respective franchise. Although contract offers cannot be officially signed as of yet, teams and players can negotiate a price that will go through on July 11.
That includes restricted free agents, who may sign an offer sheet with another team, but their original team will have the chance to match any deal made. Such is the case with Robin Lopez, the seven foot center that has spent the past four seasons with the Phoenix Suns.
According to many reports, the Houston Rockets have offered Bulls center Omer Asik a three-year, $25 million contract offer. Unfortunately for the Suns, this sets the market for all big men around the league. And Robin Lopez might cost more than they would have liked to spend.
Asik is a good interior presence for any team looking for a big that can block shots and pick up six fouls every game. But his offensive capabilities are limited and he does come with some potential risk because of that. Lopez has a much higher floor and ceiling in terms of his offensive gameplay than Asik, but we have not seen him dramatically improve during his time here.
Last season for the Suns, Lopez came off the bench behind Marcin Gortat and played about 14 minutes per game. In that time, he averaged just five points, three rebounds and a blocked shot per game. Instead of seeing steady improvement during his time in the NBA, Lopez has stayed consistently mediocre.
He also comes with some injury history as well. He has back problems and, because of that, he has never played a full season. Still, other teams will inquire for his services because he is a seven footer. That is a quality that keeps big men in the league.
SB Nation Arizona's own Seth Pollack gave his guess as to what Lopez would receive on the open market when he guessed somewhere around three years, $20 million. The Suns will likely wait for another team to sign him to an offer sheet and then choose to match it before the three day decision period ends.
To me, it would be unwise for them to do so. Lopez has some upside as a player, but his complacency and injury history lead me to believe that he should just be let go. He is a below average rebounding center, his offensive game has improved, but it still isn't great and he has never been the same since his 2009-10 campaign.
Will the Suns match any reasonable offer thrown at him? More than likely. But should they? I think not.