A problem has surfaced with the 3-way deal between New Orleans, Minnesota, & Phoenix that was reportedly agreed upon yesterday. This of course is the deal that would be sending Robin Lopez & Hakim Warrick to New Orleans with the Hornets sending Brad Miller back to Minnesota, along with Jerome Dyson and a few draft picks. This is where the problem come in, under the new CBA, trading Brad Miller back to Minnesota makes this trade illegal. Naturally one would just say okay, send Miller to Phoenix then. Well that is also illegal under the new CBA.
“A player cannot be traded to the team from whence he came for a full year (fourth bullet point from the bottom on Q97 here).”
A traded player cannot be packaged in a trade with another player for two months after the first trade (in Miller’s case, this date is September 13th; the CBA rule can be found in the 3rd bullet point from the top at the link in hold-up #1)
This initial catch pretty much makes this trade impossible unless all parties want to wait until September 13th. I doubt that is likely as Minnesota needs to get rid of Wesley Johnson to free up cap space to sign Andrei Kirelinko. It still is in the best interest of all parties to find a way to get this deal done but a 4th team will need to be involved. The Hornets are over the cap space and cannot trade for Lopez and Warrick separately while Phoenix does not have enough cap space to take on Johnson and keep Warrick. And the whole point for Minnesota to accept this trade was to free cap space, so they will not be taking Warrick’s $4 million contract either. One possible solution is getting the Phoenix Suns to take another player from the Hornets who isn’t getting paid the league minimum. Xavier Henry would be the ideal missing piece, but the Suns just resigned Shannon Brown and will be getting Wesley Johnson in this same deal. The other solution to this dilemma is the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Bobcats are one of the few teams with a ton of cap space left. The Bobcats are currently looking into acquiring unrestricted free agent Carl Landry but maybe they can be swayed to settle for Hakim Warrick, or both. The Bobcats would not be required to send out any assets anywhere, they would just need to be willing to take on cap. Seeing as how the Bobcats are looking to upgrade their roster I put them as the frontrunner to save this trade.
This deal would mean a lot for New Orleans so I am expecting them to be doing as much as they can to figure it out.
Check out Hornets247 as they also explain this situation pretty well.