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Lopez Is Nets' Center of Attention

Adam Pantozzi,
Adam Pantozzi,

Let others speculate that Brook Lopez is being offered up for Dwight Howard. The Nets are pushing Lopez out front. This week alone, he planted trees at Branch Brook Park in Newark, made a high-profile tour --with Billy King and Bobby Marks-- of the Barclays Center construction site , helped celebrate a disabled soldier's rehabilitation, even participated in a dance clinic.

And he did all of it with his arm a sling, having undergone surgery for a calcium deposit nine days ago.

In each case, reporters were invited to attend the event and interview him. In Branch Brook Park, he spoke about how he'd like to play with Howard and how the trade speculation doesn't bother him. He raved about the pace of construction as he stood at center court in Brooklyn, and attracted a crowd of fans at a comic book store a block from the arena. The Nets are letting it be known that if they don't get Howard in a trade or free agency, they're perfectly happy with what they've got.