In an interview with Ryan Ruocco on ESPN Radio Monday, Brian Windhorst said the Nets could trade max players Deron Williams and Brook Lopez but would have to take back "horrible" contracts. Windhorst also suggested, based on his experience covering Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Lopez could have "extreme" restrictions.
To a fan's question about the two players' trade value, Windhorst replied...
"You could trade those guys but you're going to get back horrible contracts. Now. Deron Williams has about $60 million left on his deal and is coming off double ankle surgery. So the guys value is minuscule not because he isn't a good player but because you owe him that much money coming off uncertainty.
"Brook Lopez while I'm sure he has a chance to play this year is going to be under extreme restrictions this year when he does play. I know this from being around Zydrunas Ilgaukas when he underwent similar surgery. I'm talking likely no back to backs, likely no three games in five days. Very extreme, very limited minutes even in practice, icing down. For the rest of his career he'll have to take care of that foot like it's made of glass. So again, he has three years left on his contract, I believe, at pretty big money.
"So you could definitely trade them but can you trade them to actually improve your team?"
Windhorst was careful not to say he had any inside information on what restrictions Lopez might have, that his comments were based solely on Ilgauskas. However, after Ilgauskas fully recovered from his reconstructive foot surgery, he became one of the Cavaliers most reliable players. Over his last 10 seasons, Ilgauskas averaged 73 games per season and nearly 30 minutes per game. In five of those 10 seasons, Ilgauskas played 78 or more games. In his final season, at age 35, he played 72.
For the record, Lopez has two years left on his contract, not three, and the second year is a player option.
- Brian Windhorst Interview (Audio) - Ryan Ruocco - ESPN Radio