League sources say that while the Nets have lost Brook Lopez, they're unlikely to make a big deal to bring in another center or use the Disabled Player Exception. Instead, the team believes it can give it a go with the remaining bigs on the roster: Kevin Garnett, Andray Blatche, Mirza Teletovic, Reggie Evans, Mason Plumlee and hopefully Andrei Kirilenko.
KG is likely to start at center at least initially. Teletovic who's averaged 10 points on 52 percent three-point shooting in the last five games, and Blatche, who's averaged 18.5 points on 51/40/79 shooting over the same period, will likely split power forward duties. Kirilenko, who's posted his best career numbers at the 4, hopes to return next week, but admits the back spasms he's suffered are the worst of his career.
The Nets front office isn't shutting off its cell phones, but league sources suggest this isn't the same situation the Nets faced when Lopez broke his foot in 2011 and the Nets quickly traded for Mehmet Okur. At that point, the Nets back-up bigs were Johan Petro, Shelden Williams and rookie Jordan Williams, all of whom are now out of the league, as is Okur.
Both David Aldridge and Marc Stein reported Saturday that the Nets are unlikely to make any major moves.
For now, Nets have no plans to look outside; will use their existing bigs to try and fill the gap, starting w/Teletovic.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) December 21, 2013
In short term, though, Brooklyn unlikely to rush out in search of fill-in bigs w/KG, Blatche, Plumee, Evans and Teletovic there to step in— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 21, 2013
Stein added that the Nets hope AK-47's return will boost rebounding, a big issue in recent games.
On Sunday, Ohm Youngmisuk reported that the Nets and Rockets talked last week. Mike Mazzeo, Youngmisuk's ESPN New York colleague, tweeted...
Source told @NotoriousOHM #Rockets talked with #Nets last week about Asik and Lin, but nothing ever came of it.— Mike Mazzeo (@MazzESPN) December 22, 2013
At the time, Houston's GM, Daryl Morey, was trying to find a third team to make a proposed deal with the Celtics work. A league source told NetsDaily then that the Nets were happy to be observers rather than participants. It's also hard to imagine the Nets constructing a deal for the two players, with Asik and Lin both owed $15 million next season in actual salary.
On Sunday, Howard Beck speculates that Paul Pierce, with his expiring contract, could be a valuable trade piece, perhaps in a deal with the Clippers, who are coached by his biggest fan, Doc Rivers.
As for the DPE, the restrictions and luxury tax considerations are likely to make the Nets wary of using it. As one league source added, it's hard to justify, considering that the Nets have several bigs who can fill in for Lopez.
As for the future, the Nets will wait to hear from Dr. Riley Williams III, the team orthopedist, who examined Lopez Saturday.
- Foot issues keep Brook Lopez from leading Nets franchise - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Brooklyn Nets' pain of losing Brook Lopez is New York Knicks' gain - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- With loss of Brook Lopez, let's talk trades - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
Making sense of Brooklyn - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Brook Lopez's Broken Foot Busts Nets' 2013-14 Hopes—Is Pierce Trade Next? - Howard Beck - Bleacher Report
- Nets' loss could be Knicks' gain as Brook Lopez injury could determine Atlantic Division - Mitch Lawrence - New York Daily News
- Lopez likely lost for season, breaks right foot yet again - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Health may keep Nets’ Lopez from realizing potential - Mike Vaccaro - New York Post
- Nets face grim future after Lopez injury - Gregory Hrinya - Examiner
- Sixers Notes: Sixers' Young sorry about Lopez's broken foot - Keith Pompey - Philadephia Inquirer