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How aggressive are Nets in shopping Lopez?

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Brook Lopez on Bus (Dmitry Beliakov) Dmitry Beliakov

Marc Stein, in a compilation of trade rumors, reports on what the Nets want for their top player...

Word is that two first-round picks is the Nets' current asking price for center Brook Lopez.

One sentence, but it suggests a number of things:

—The Nets are willing to deal Lopez and that they would appear to be more interested in picks than players for the 28-year-old center who’s played more seasons for the team than any player ever;

—Their asking price is high and like Woj and Bobby Marks reported last month, “they will not just give him away.”

—There aren’t any current takers as of now, but it’s nearly seven weeks before the trade deadline of February 23.

Some pundits have suggested that the Nets asking price for Lopez, averaging 20 and five and shooting 36 percent from deep, begins with what the Nuggets got for Timofey Mozgov two years ago: two firsts. But there’s not a lot of commonality between that deal and what the Nets are asking for, if Stein is right.

Lopez, of course, is a much better player than Mozgov will ever be. But also, the picks the Nuggets got were heavily protected and in one case, ultimately become second rounders if the protections were heavy enough to prevent a first round pick. Moreover, any team that takes on Lopez will be adding a much bigger salary. Lopez will earn $22.6 million next year, about 21 percent of the projected salary cap. That’s a big nut unless his new team sees him as a first or second option.

Of course, Lopez trade rumors are nothing new. It’s a semi-annual thing, coming once before the trade deadline and once before the draft.

Stay tuned.