Although López has been said to be the Spanish version of John Stockton, his game has often been described as more similar to that of Steve Nash and Tony Parker. He is known for his quickness, court vision, unselfishness, and passing ability. Also, he has the ability to create his own shot, a key skill in the modern NBA and Euroleague.
In 2001, López was selected in the first round of the 2001 NBA Draft, 24th overall, by the Utah Jazz. In September 2002, he signed his NBA rookie contract with the Utah Jazz and underwent surgery to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, missing the entire 2002–03 NBA season. Finally, in the 2003–04 season, totally recovered from his knee injury, he played in all of the 82 regular season games as the backup to starting point guard Carlos Arroyo, while averaging 7.0 points, 3.7 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 19.7 minutes per game.
On August 3, 2005, López was traded from the Jazz to the Memphis Grizzlies as part of the largest trade in NBA history, involving five teams, 13 players, and two draft picks. He was subsequently cut from the Memphis Grizzlies2005–06 roster.