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AP: f96ff1cc-ba6d-457c-854f-7d33e33c2ad0
Phoenix Suns' Robin Lopez (15) drives against Philadelphia 76ers' Nikola Vucevic during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
It is time for the Phoenix Suns to recognize that Robin Lopez will never amount to anything more than a below- average backup center. And once they do that they need to find a team that is willing to trade for the 7-footer who was the 15th pick in the 2008 NBA draft out of Stanford.

Lopez is hurting the Phoenix Suns. He is taking playing time away from players more deserving of it and his volatile demeanor is a negative in the locker room. His intentional bumping of an official in a game against the Toronto Raptors should be the last straw.

There is no place for Lopez's antics on this team and he is likely to be suspended and fined for his actions Tuesday night. I understand he is young and has size and that you hate giving up on a first-round pick. But the Suns have given up on plenty of first-round picks lately - see Earl Clark, Alando Tucker, Casey Jacobsen, Zarko Cabarkapa etc…

Lopez is averaging 4.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 14 minutes per game. His career averages are 5.8 points and 3.3 rebounds. I'm sure they can get that type of production signing someone out of the D-League.

Phoenix decided not to sign Lopez to a contract extension by Wednesday deadline, so he will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. I had heard rumblings of him wanting in the neigborhood of $6 million per season on a multi-year deal.

The Suns did the right thing because Lopez is a dime a dozen player, not worthy of a contract of any length of time for any significant money. Find a taker, trade him now.

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