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Raskin: Brooklyn Nets motivated to trade Brook Lopez

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets would like to move Deron Williams and Brook Lopez but with D-Will down --and $63.1 million still on the books, that will not be easy.  The Rockets, presumably interested in Williams, haven't called yet. writes Devin Kharpertian of The Brooklyn Game.  Instead, reports Alex Raskin of the Wall Street Journal, the priority is move Lopez, the longest serving Net on the roster.

There are a lot of reasons, Raskin notes, but mostly because the 26-year-old still has value around the NBA.

They might be motivated sellers, but the Nets still think Lopez could fetch valuable players in a trade, according to one league source. His history of foot problems notwithstanding, the biggest issue in moving Lopez ahead of the Feb. 19 trade deadline has nothing to do with his health.

Rather, it’s the $16.7 million Lopez is owed next season, since trading him would normally mean taking back a significant amount of salary.

The Nets, according to multiple sources, are willing to deal Lopez, but they are against taking on expensive or lengthy deals in order to do so.

Raskin doesn't indicate what team(s) are interested in him or who the Nets might get back in return.  The Nets have said that they are not interested in pure salary dumps, or as Billy King has called them, "fire sales" and despite a four-game losing streak, there doesn't seem to be any heavy pressure from Moscow to make moves.  The deadline is not looming ... although there has been a spate of trades in the past few days, with the Knicks and Celtics sending out players for draft picks and/or trade exceptions.

"The Nets would likely welcome a similar haul," writes Raskin, "particularly if it came attached with some bench scoring and/or backcourt depth."