With Deadline Looming, Should Phoenix Suns Sign Robin Lopez to Extension?

This upcoming offseason will be one of the biggest in the history of the Phoenix Suns. They will enough money to go out and sign one big time free agent and probably add one more key piece to the roster.

Of course, that all hinges on Phoenix not adding anymore salaries to next year’s payroll. As of right now, they only have a little more than $30 million on the 2012-2013 rolls.

One of the big decisions that the Suns will have to make over the next couple of weeks is what to do with Robin Lopez. Phoenix has by January 25 to decide on whether to sign the center to an extension. If they pass, Lopez would become a restricted free agent and could sign with another team. The Suns could match that offer to keep the big man in Phoenix.

Local radio personality John Gambadoro from Sports 620 speculated earlier today on how much Lopez would cost the Suns on a long-term deal.

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Gambadoro is only guessing on what Lopez will cost, but looking around the league, that sounds about right for a 23-year-old center.

Putting myself in Robert Sarver’s shoes, I wouldn’t pay Side Show Rob that kind of money, especially with all the other potential free agents that will be on the market come next offseason. Plus, the Suns already have a starting center in Marcin Gortat. Why pay that kind of money to Gortat’s backup?

How much would I pay him? Probably no more than $4 million per season. Lopez has shown flashes of being a real good player over the course of his career, but that was only at the second half of a single season. Other than that, he has been pretty mediocre and hasn’t warranted anymore cash than what I just mentioned.

If he does become a free agent, there will probably a couple of teams willing to offer Lopez $7 a year. After all, Lopez is just 23 and does have upside that really could interest a team looking for a young piece at the center position

We will find out in a matter of three weeks on what exactly the Suns decide to do with Rockin’ Robin. Will they lock him for the forseeable future or will they decide not to give him an extension right now and leave the door open to either bringing him back during the offseason or letting him go elsewhere and spend the money in other ways?

Here is to Phoenix doing the latter.

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