Brook Lopez could land in a new home if the the New Orleans Pelicans get their way. One of the hottest NBA trade rumors around is the Pelicans and Brooklyn Nets are discussing a deal for the former All-Star center. And while nothing is expected to take place immediately, the Pelicans and Nets have reportedly talked about the parameters of a trade.
According to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders, the Nets and Pelicans are engaging in trade talks that could send Brook Lopez to New Orleans. A proposed deal between the Nets and Pelicans would include Tyreke Evans, Tim Frazier, Langston Galloway, and a protected 2018 draft pick going to Brooklyn.
Consummation of the trade between the Nets and Pelicans would allow Brooklyn to get from out of Brook Lopez’s albatross contract. The Nets would also be getting a guard or two who can help them going forward.
The Nets are demanding two first round picks in return for Brook Lopez.
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) February 12, 2017
Tyreke Evans is a free agent at the end of the season and the potential of having his $11 million gone off of the Nets’ books is an enticing proposition. The possible additions of Frazier and Galloway adds a likely starting point guard and a long-distance shooter.
What is reportedly holding up the trade from happening is the Brooklyn Nets are asking for a second first-rounder. If the Pelicans give in and includes the additional pick, the deal with Brook Lopez will get done. The Pelicans are in the position of need at the moment.
If the New Orleans Pelicans were to acquire Brook Lopez, they would get an offensively creative center to pair with power forward Anthony Davis. The Pelicans have long sought after a true NBA center to take on some of the punishment that Davis receives.
After having a couple of defensive-minded centers in Omer Asik and Alexis Aijinca, the Pelicans want to change the course by going for a scoring post player. Brook Lopez could be the answer.
Lopez is beginning to expand his shooting range. Entering Monday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Brook Lopez has taken three fewer three-point shots, 247 treys attempted than free throw chances. Remarkably, Lopez is making over 33 percent of his shots from behind the arc.
Being able to spread the floor, allowing Anthony Davis attack the rim is a prerequisite for the New Orleans Pelicans’ search for a center. This is why Brook Lopez is a perfect fit for them.
OH MY GOD BROOK LOPEZ
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) February 11, 2017
Anthony Davis will still do a lot of the heavy lifting if and when the New Orleans Pelicans acquire a center. Davis will continue to score, rebound, and defend on a high clip, but he has to defend the center position nearly every night. That will wear on him after awhile without some true help.
It was widely believed that the help was going to come in the form of Philadelphia Sixers’ Jahlil Okafor. NBA reported that the Pelicans and Sixers were heavily involved in trade talks for Okafor. A week has passed, with little to no movement on those talks. If the Pelicans can add Brook Lopez instead of Okafor, they will be better for it.
Brook Lopez and Jahlil Okafor are similar players in terms of what they can and cannot do. Lopez has a better resume than Okafor with his All-Star appearances and playoff experience. Lopez plays harder when he is in a winning situation. While the New Orleans Pelicans would be on the outside looking in of the NBA playoffs right now, they are farther along in their rebuilding process than the Brooklyn Nets.
Sources: Nets and Pelicans discussed a Brook Lopez trade for Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, Tim Frazier & a pick. https://t.co/GUIMWtPhc3
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) February 13, 2017
The Brooklyn Nets are at least two years away from playoff contention. And in order to compete for a playoff berth, the Nets will have to do so by adding free agents. The Nets do not have a bevy of draft picks to help them rebuild. Their next two first round picks are owned by the Boston Celtics courtesy of ill-advised trades. The potential of getting a draft pick from the New Orleans Pelicans should be enough to convince the Nets to part company with Brook Lopez.
As for the Pelicans, adding Brook Lopez would take them out of the running for Jahlil Okafor. If the proposed trade between the Nets and Pelicans take place as constituted, the Sixers come out as the biggest losers.
The Sixers’ insistence on stalling out for a great deal for Jahlil Okafor could leave them with only one team to negotiate with — the Chicago Bulls. The Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers has solved their frontcourt problems (courtesy of ESPN) between each other. Another suitor for Okafor is looking at the more polished version of him, with the New Orleans Pelicans looking hard at Brook Lopez.
The NBA trade deadline is less than two weeks away. These NBA trade rumors between the Brooklyn Nets and New Orleans Pelicans appear to be accelerating fast.
[Featured Image by Al Bello/Getty Images]