It’s become an article of faith among Nets fans that Brook Lopez WILL be traded. His value and the Nets’ desperate need for first round picks command it. So the thinking goes. According to some reports, like Adrian Wojnarowski’s discussion last month with Bobby Marks, there’s no rush.
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.
But Sean Deveney of Sporting News has a different take. He reported Wednesday that the Nets have been marketing their long term leader for a while.
The Nets have been willing to trade Lopez all season, but interest has been limited so far. His numbers are typical of his career (20.3 points, 5.3 rebounds), and Lopez has added a 3-point game in order to keep up with the times (he is shooting 36.5 percent from the arc).
And he suggests, there’s only a limited amount of interest.
His contract has only one year left after this one, but it comes in at $22.6 million, a forbidding number for any team hoping to keep some cap flexibility. That’s also caused some teams to shy away from offering up the draft picks the Nets need as a return for Lopez. He could yet be moved, but as one general manager said, "I don’t think there is a hurry there, because I think you can get him at the deadline if he is your best option."
Is there a level of desperation that would require the Nets to move Lopez at the deadline or at the draft? Brian Lewis suggests there is, that “the bill is now due” from Billy King (and ownership’s) desire to trade the future for the present (which turned out to be the past) in 2013.
What could they get? Fans hope for two first round picks (like what the Nuggets got for Timofey Mozgov) or a first rounder and a good young player. Is that likely? As Deveney writes, the $22.6 million final year is a big nut. It’s 20 percent of the salary cap next year. And the Mozgov bounty is often overrated. Neither of the picks was a Cavalier pick and both were heavily protected.
Anything can happen, but we wouldn’t expect anything soon.
- Trade rumors: potential big pick-ups - Sean Deveney - Sporting News
- The Nets’ only shots at a miracle to escape years of NBA hell - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Brook Lopez is the Nets’ unquestioned leader - Greg Logan - Newsday