In Mike Mazzeo's latest piece, he discusses the humbling reality of the Nets' chances in free agency set to begin Friday. Mazzeo, however, notes how Brook Lopez is "recovering from plantar fasciitis" on his right foot. He had reconstructive surgery on that same foot in January 2014.
As Mazzeo writes...
Lopez, who on several occasions has nearly been traded, appears now to be a building block, with Atkinson insisting the team is not looking to deal him. He is currently recovering from plantar fasciitis in his surgically repaired right foot, though team officials maintain the 28-year-old will be fine.
Lopez was injury-free last season, appearing in 73 games before being shut down for precautionary purposes. Atkinson definitely wants Lopez to be more of a leader in 2016-17, something previous Nets coaches also have hoped for.
Lopez has been seen in a small walking boot over the past few weeks, but a team official says he is now out of it. So, no worries, say team officials. It isn't good news, but considering it's his right foot, it could've been much, much worse.
Kenny Atkinson's dependency on Lopez's leadership can't be overlooked either. He's one of the best scoring bigs in the league, but the Nets haven't done much behind his lead. He's been a part of two winning teams in eight seasons with the Nets. One of the two years he only played 17 games.
It puts things into perspective. If the Nets want to see any sort of success/improvement, Lopez will have to be "the guy" and more importantly, he will have to be healthy.