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Would a Nets rebuild scare Brook Lopez away?

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Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Billy King all but said the Nets are going to do all they can to dump Deron Williams and Joe Johnson and turn the team over to Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young.  That would, on the surface, seem to be appealing to Lopez who in the words of Matt Moore, has seen the Nets "[jerk] him around for five years with trade rumors, never wanting to build around him and constantly chasing stars, even as he turned into arguably the game's best offensive center."

In a column Sunday, Moore handicaps the Nets chances of keeping the big guy, if he opts out, noting both the positives and negatives, wondering in the end if the Nets short-term prospects could turn him off.

The stability issue is in the Nets favor, notes Moore.

By and large, Brooklyn could afford him the most stability. Lopez and Lionel Hollins clashed for much of this year, but Hollins seems to have realized Lopez is his only real shot at staying competitive.

Not to mention the market.  Moore argues that It's probably going to be weaker than expected, although he points to the Lakers, who play in the city of Lopez's birth, as one possibility. "There's always the Lakers," he writes.

All that said, Moore points to the one big issue for Lopez (and presumably Young as well): the Nets aren't going to be very good, even if, as Mikhail Prokhorov and Billy King have said, the Nets are willing to pay at least some luxury tax next season.  How real is that promise?  Not very, Moore thinks.

The Nets will happily go into the luxury tax if LeBron James opts out and wants to go there, but may not want to go over in order to put a competitive-not-great team on the floor. If they move Williams and Johnson, that could leave Lopez with Thad Young, Markel Brown, and Alan Anderson along with Jarrett Jack.

Maybe the Nets get lucky in trading D-Will and Johnson, which Moore believes is not impossible.

There are teams out there where getting a talent like Williams or Johnson would be an upgrade. The cap increase in two years has teams in a position to take the hit a bit easier. A buyout with Williams very much seems like the more plausible result, but it's not outside the realm of possibility that a team could gamble on him.

It's a long way till July 1, when teams can talk with free agents, if indeed that's the route Lopez takes. It's even longer way till October 1, when the teams gather at training facilities across the league and players look around at who they'll be playing with.  Right now, no one can have a good grasp on who the Nets will have .... or what their prospects will be.  Without Lopez, however, the Nets could be a very bad way indeed.