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Knicks, Lopez Agree to Deal

AP Photo

AP Photo

It sounds like Robin Lopez is coming to New York, so long as another free agent center lands elsewhere.

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the big man will sign a four-year, $54 million deal with the Knicks so long as DeAndre Jordan declines the max-offer he has on the table from New York. It is believed that Jordan will either remain with the Los Angeles Clippers or jump ship for the Dallas Mavericks.

Assuming Lopez is in fact coming to the Knicks – it seems inevitable at this point – he will bring a defensive presence down low that has alluded the team since Tyson Chandler’s second-to-last season in New York. While president Phil Jackson likely had frontcourt players like Jordan, LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Monroe higher on his shopping list, Lopez is perhaps the strongest defender there alongside Jordan.

At 27 years old, Lopez is a force in the interior and a solid rim protector. Always gritty, he averaged 6.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks while averaging 27.8 minutes per game for the Portland Trailblazers last year. A veteran of seven NBA seasons with the Blazers, Suns and Hornets, the Sideshow Bob impersonator holds career averages of 5.2 REB and 1.2 BLK per game.

While Lopez can make a major contribution on defense, he is limited on the other side of the floor. He has averaged 8.2 PPG for his career and is not much of a passer out of the paint. Still, he is a considerable upgrade considering the Knicks have had little to brag about the last two years.

Lopez is now the Knicks’ second free agent signing and second player coming over from Portland, joining Aaron Afflalo. With their two deals, the Knicks now have about $7.3 million left to spend this offseason and will have an estimated $30 million next summer.

One reason Lopez likely wanted to be in New York is because of his twin brother, Brook. A fellow big, the other Lopez plays for the Brooklyn Nets.

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