In a podcast, Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks of The Vertical spoke Wednesday about who might be traded starting Thursday when most of last summer’s free agents are available for the first time. So naturally, Brook Lopez’s name came up ... as it always does.
Woj stated, and Marks agreed, that the Nets will not send the 7-footer packing so easily.
“Brooklyn is not going to just give him away,” said Woj, noting that the front office doesn’t just value him for his play on the court, but his character and loyalty as well.
“Brook is so unique. So many coaches, so many programs. How many times has he nearly been traded? He’s been in so many trades that didn’t get done.
“But he comes back to work the next day and he's not holding anything against any body, he’s the same guy, same personality and they value that in Brooklyn.” Woj added, a clear reference to Sean Marks and the Nets front office.
“And you give up a guy like this and you may not be able to find another like him. his personality, that he just rolled with everything whereas other guys would be basket cases, constantly complaining and telling everyone, ‘Get me out of here.’”
Bobby Marks agreed. “If you’re Brooklyn you’re certainly not giving him away” and he suggested the Nets could wait until Lopez is an expiring contract next year.
“One thing you know about Brook if you’re Sean Marks is you can almost wait till next season and I know we talked about it earlier the expiring contracts and how the value decreases but he is a creature of habit. He does not like to move around,” said Marks, suggesting Lopez may be more valuable to Brooklyn than to another club.
What might be the price tag? Woj suggested two first round picks or a first rounder and a good young player and Marks noted that after Cleveland gave up two (heavily protected) future first rounders for Timofey Mozgov, “That’s the standard now” for skilled 7-footers.
There is also a precedent for the Nets, Woj noted. “They were pretty aggressive in moving Thaddeus Young and identified Caris LeVert as a guy they wanted and could get at 20. And they wanted him all along.”
In general discussions of who might be dealt this trade season, Woj and Marks suggested some names: Rudy Gay, Kosta Koufos and Ben McLemore of the Kings, Marcus Smart of the Celtics, Greg Monroe of the Bucks and Nerlens Noel of the 76ers.
Woj said the 76ers would like to get rid of Noel, but said teams are wary of the 6’11” shot blocker.
“The research teams have done on him is not good,” said Woj. “Their intel of how he’s carrying himself there, of his habits, is not a great return. There are teams willing to do a deal for him and bring him in, but they don’t want to give up much.”
Marks also spoke about one of the trades that doomed the Nets, the 2012 deadline deal for Gerald Wallace, one that came hours after Dwight Howard decided to stay in Orlando.
“We made that deal for Gerald Wallace. We traded a lightly protected lottery pick (who turned in Damian Lillard). You acquired Wallace and you knew you had to sign him and you had no one bidding for him but you knew you have to pay him because you had given up that lottery pick and that’s a hard thing for some teams to swallow,” said Marks adding that they felt they needed someone to keep Deron WIlliams interested, to fight alongside him.
But Marks added, with the advantage of hindsight, he now understands the full consequences of that deal. “It’s always about the organization, never about the player. “