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Marc Stein: Nuggets offer pick to Nets for Brook Lopez but still a no-go for Brooklyn

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Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Marc Stein, following up on his tweets Friday night, reports that the Nuggets are willing to give the Nets one of two first rounders they acquired in the Timofey Mozgov deal for Brook Lopez but Brooklyn has declined the offer.  As Stein reported Friday, the centerpieces of a proposed Nets-Nuggets deal would be JaVale McGee and J.J. Hickson.

Stein writes...

Sources told ESPN.com that the Nuggets have offered big men JaVale McGee and J.J. Hickson, as well as one of the two draft picks Denver recently acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers for center Timofey Mozgov, in exchange for the Lopez.

But Brooklyn, sources say, has rebuffed those advances so far.

Stein did not provide information on whether the Nets would have a choice of picks or which Denver is offering if there is no choice.  Neither pick is likely to help the Nets another pick in this year's draft, barring the most extreme circumstances. They're more likely to be available down the road.

As noted by Adrian Wojnarowski, protections on the Memphis pick are Nos. 1-5 and 15-30 in 2015; 1-5 and 15-30 in ’16; 1-5 in ’17 and 1-5 in 2018; unprotected in 2019. The protections on the OKC pick are Nos. 1-18 in 2015; 1-15 in ’16; 1-15 in 2017. After 2017, it becomes two seconds.

As Kelly Dwyer reported at the time of the Mozgov trade...
Memphis’ selection is more appealing. The pick is currently protected through the top five and between spots 15-30 this year and next, 6-through-14 slots the championship-level Grizzlies aren’t falling into unless injuries hit or Marc Gasol shocks the world by leaving the Grizz as a free agent this summer. Beyond that, though, as the group ages it might be possible that the Nuggets fall into a very good pick as the protections (top five in 2017 and 2018, completely unprotected in 2019) dissipate.
Meanwhile, Woj tweets that the two teams have talked in a while...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Just an FYI: Denver and Brooklyn haven&#39;t spoken in a week on a Brook Lopez deal, league sources tell Yahoo.</p>&mdash; Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) <a href="https://twitter.com/WojYahooNBA/status/562312095392620544">February 2, 2015</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

McGee, an athletic but often injured seven-footer, has played 20 games in the past season and a half, only returning to action this weekend.  He is owed a guaranteed $23.2 million over this year and next.  Hickson, who comes off the bench in  Denver, is owed $11 million over the same period. McGee, Hickson and Lopez are all around the same age.

The Nets believe that Lopez's value has increased dramatically in the last month and believe they can wait till the trade deadline for better deals, not just for him, but for Joe Johnson and possible Deron Williams as well.