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Kenny Atkinson: Brooklyn Nets "absolutely" not interested in trading Brook Lopez

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Brooklyn Nets

In addition to welcoming Isaiah Whitehead (back) to Brooklyn, Kenny Atkinson talked about a number of things Tuesday, but his most vigorous comment was in response to a question about Brook Lopez's future...

The reason for the question is obvious. At his press conference, Atkinson said both Lopez and Thaddeus Young were building blocks for the team and he called Young "my guy." Two weeks later, Young was gone, traded to Indiana for the rights to Caris LeVert.  Atkinson, as he has in the past, mentioned Lopez's leadership.

Atkinson also said he would be coaching the Nets summer league team, whose top players will include Whitehead, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris McCullough.

And like his boss, Atkinson seemed to be lowering expectations on who the Nets will go for in free agency which begins Friday.

A little more specifically, he suggested what the Nets are looking for...

"I think veteran leadership is important. I think undervalued guys, guys that might be under the radar and can produce and maybe not necessarily the big star, maybe we're not in position to get that guy and really guys like Isaiah Whitehead that fill the characteristics we're looking for -- hardworking, high character, high basketball IQ is important for us and competitors."

The Nets haven't set a press conference to introduce LeVert, mainly because the Young trade can't be finalized until after Friday because of CBA regulations.