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Tom Ziller: Brook Lopez is 'pretty much' earning his max contract

What once was deemed as a "laughable contract," Brook Lopez is really earning his pay.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

As the Brooklyn Nets opened up their wallets this summer to hand over $60 million to Brook Lopez, some deemed the contract "laughable," while others thought giving that kind of money to a 24-year-old, 7-footer who can give you 20 points per game made sense.

Really, you could almost make a valid argument on either end, especially with Lopez coming off a "lost season" in which he played just five games for the Nets.

Now, however, there seems to be few detractors and more of a common consensus that a healthy Lopez is certainly earning his pay.

Tom Ziller, over at SB Nation NBA, made the case today, holding up Lopez's contract alongside both Eric Gordon and Roy Hibbert, who were also given max contracts this summer.

He writes:

Brook Lopez's max deal was quite a good laugh in the summer. As it turns out, it may have been the best decision Brooklyn made in 2012. (Well, second behind introduction of the BrooklyKnight, of course.) Given Andrew Bynum's long injury return and Dwight's slow start, Lopez has been one of the league's three best centers this season in terms of impact, up there with Tyson Chandler and Joakim Noah.

There really is no question about it, as Nets fans know, this team is much, much better with Lopez on the court than they are with him off it. And if you want to talk about the importance of one single player on this Nets team, there's probably no argument to be made against Lopez being the team's MVP, 32 games into the season.