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No more Dwightmare? Ian O'Connor on Nets choices

Al Bello

Brook Lopez tells Ian O'Connor he didn't even know Tuesday was the first day he could traded. "I didn't even know there was a day like that," Lopez said, "or that today was the day."

Probably better that way, considering that he spent all of last season, right up to March 15, and then much of the off-season wondering whether he was headed to Orlando and Disney World in return for Dwight Howard. Ah, the Dwightmare.

Now, O'Connor quotes "one NBA official familiar with the thinking of Nets management" as saying that even in the (unlikely) event that Mitch Kupchak calls, the conversation might not be a long as it would have been with Rob Hennigan back in July. "It's not as cut and dried as it was last year, when the feeling was go ahead and pretty much gut the team for Dwight, give up a bunch of draft picks and players and take back bad contracts. That feeling isn't there anymore."

Indeed, the Nets were prepared to send Lopez, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and four first round picks to Orlando for Howard, Jason Richardson, Earl Clark and Chris Duhon. (Instead, Hennigan gave up those four for Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless, Christian Eyenga, Josh McRoberts, three protected future first-round picks -- one each from the Lakers, Nuggets and 76ers, along with two protected second round picks, one from the Nuggets and one from the Lakers, the latter protected as well.)

O'Connor argues that the Nets should consider themselves lucky. Not only is Lopez's foot less of a concern that Howard's back, but "There's no need to take the Brook out of Brooklyn, not when Lopez is three years younger than Howard, much less radioactive in and around the locker room and much more reliable on the offensive end in the fourth quarter, when Superman is fed a steady diet of kryptonite on the foul line."