Center Robin Lopez has inked a 4-year, $54 million deal to leave the Portland Trailblazers for the New York Knicks.
The 27-year old Lopez averaged 10 points (54% FG), 7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks over 28 minutes last season for Portland.
Known for his defense and rebounding energy (3 off. rpg), Lopez is expected to be the “rim protector” team president Phil Jackson emphasized as a free agency focus.
With Carmelo Anthony and rookie Kristaps Porzingis likely to spend significant minutes at power forward, Lopez’s 7’0, 255 pound frame is essential for covering their weaknesses on the boards and defensively. This used to be Tyson Chandler’s job until he mentally checked out. Cole Aldrich and Lou Amundson did the best with their limited ability last year. Rolo is a clear upgrade in all facets. I’m expecting him to average a double double being in the East and likely playing increased minutes.
No, Lopez isn’t a name-grabber like Deandre Jordan or LaMarcus Aldridge, but he’s a marked improvement and fits the defensive mold we’re trying to build.
Still skeptical? Check the videos below.