In the live blog tonight a lot of Suns fans were disappointed with this pick but I don't get that at all. I think I will simply paraphrase what I heard Steve Kerr say about Lopez:
The Suns have a desperate need for an athletic big center that can defend, rebound, hustle and play both inside and out. My only regret is that they couldn't find a guy like this last year and have kept Marion and avoided the Worst. Trade. Ever.
Here's some tidbits from Porter and Lopez on the radio tonight:
- Porter says Lopez will play and be a rotation guy playing along side Amare or Boris
- Not sure about his ability to play with Shaq. That makes sense
- Lopez was the top guy on the Suns draft board ahead of Rush, Randolph, Batum and Courtney Lee in that order
- The Suns like Robin better then Brock and think he will end up being the better of the two and would have picked him ahead of Brock
- They love his motor and intensity but also he has good hands and a high basketball IQ
- Lopez understands his role - defensive energy and that's what the Suns need
- His numbers weren't great at Stanford but he was often defending the other teams' best big and played unselfishly with his brother giving up stats to box out or guard guys on the perimeter. Again - exactly what the Suns need next to Amare
I am very happy with this pick. The Suns have a solid record in the draft and didn't have the luxury to draft a project skill guy like Batum or Speights.
For the 15th pick you aren't going to get an all-star so why not get the kind of glue guy that any playoff team needs. I think Suns fans are going to love this kid in no time.
[Note by ZonaFlash, 06/27/08 11:26 AM EDT ]
I was going to post this separately, but since Stan has already covered the Suns saying something similar, I add it here.
A few extra reasons why Robin > Brook might become true.
 Twins: Roughly the same talent and skill level between the two starting today. Brook probably has the edge for showing himself statistically dominant, but talent-wise, Robin has not been short-changed.
 Temperament. Although I prefer dominant, aggressive players, Robin has shown the will to sacrifice for the team. Over the long run, this kind of team mentality with his own brand of aggression may be more valuable (it's also cheaper on the salary cap). Robin's team play is all the more important when one's roster involves some pretty big egos already. It's not clear to me that Brook and Amare would have got along.
 Training. Robin is going to get trained by two great big men in Cartwright and Shaq. Robin is poised to receive the big man secrets from Shaq that Amare could not handle. The Nets have WHO coaching their big men?