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Pelicans Trying To Unload Robin Lopez

The Pelicans have made a lucrative offer to restricted free agent Tyreke Evans, and to clear space for it, the team is trying to rid itself of Robin Lopez's contract, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Lopez is set to make about $5.1MM this season, but that contract is only guaranteed for $500K as long as he's waived on or before Friday. If he's still on the roster after that, his $5.34MM salary for 2014/15 becomes guaranteed, too, making the team's decision doubly important.

I'd imagine the Pelicans would seek trade options for Lopez before simply cutting him loose. The rumored offer to Evans, at four years and $58MM, would push New Orleans to roughly $53.5MM worth of guaranteed salary for 2013/14, not including Lopez's deal. The Pelicans also have backup big man Jason Smith on the books for $2.5MM next season, after his contract became fully guaranteed when he wasn't waived yesterday.

The Kings are considering telling Evans that they're prepared to match the deal, but if they inform him otherwise, he's likely to sign the offer sheet from the Pelicans, Sam Amick of USA Today reports. An agreement would no doubt accelerate talks with other teams, and though Lopez is by no means a frontline starting center like his brother, Brook Lopez, he represents a viable option at the five spot that should be attractive to many around the league.

The Kings may also try to engineer a sign-and-trade with Evans to send him to New Orleans, according to John Reid of The Times Picayune (Twitter link), so perhaps Lopez could be a part of those talks, though that's just my speculation. 

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