Brooklyn Nets trade rumors have involved Brook Lopez for a while, but as the NBA trade deadline approaches, some bad news has come out for fans of the team. It had been rumored that the Nets could look to deal Lopez for several future first-round draft picks, but it turns out that this may have only been wishful thinking for the front office in Brooklyn.
A report by ESPN indicates that not only will the Nets miss out on getting two first-round selections for Lopez, but the market states that the Nets may not even get one first-round pick for him. As the Nets continue to struggle, the thought process has been that the team would be better suited dealing Lopez, especially if the right offer came along. That offer might have been there at one point and the front office in Brooklyn may have waited too long to make a deal. Unless they are also willing to take on a bad contract in addition to a good pick?
It’s worth noting that the New Orleans Pelicans have been linked to these Brooklyn Nets trade rumors recently, with Brook Lopez fitting the role of a player that the team wants to put next to Anthony Davis. The words used in that chatter alluded to a “skilled center” who was adept at handling the ball and protecting the rim on defense. That sounds like an almost exact description of what Lopez brings to the floor, but would New Orleans give up a first-round pick to get him?
In 51 games this season, Brook Lopez is averaging 20.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game. Those rebounding numbers are really low for a full-time starting center, possibly explaining why there hasn’t been a greater interest level on the NBA trade market.
Lopez has added a three-point shot to his repertoire this season, showing he is spending less time under the basket. That could be a reason why his rebounding numbers are taking a hit, but at a 34.4 percent clip, it is a new weapon for him on offense. Lopez is also an 83.5 percent shooter from the free-throw line, which is a really high mark for a center. That has always been a good facet of his game, making it dangerous for opposing teams to foul Lopez when he has the ball in the lane.
As for his contract, Lopez will earn just about $21.2 million this season and about $22.7 million next year. It’s an expensive contract for any team to acquire midseason, but might just be worth the cost in order to give a team added size in the middle. A number of teams could use more size, including the Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors, and New Orleans Pelicans, but it’s really only the Pelicans that could afford his contract (from that group of teams).
The season has been a complete waste for the Nets, with a 9-47 record heading into the All-Star break. The worse news is that the team also doesn’t control its own first-round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, meaning help is not on the way. The Boston Celtics still control that pick as a result of breaking up the “big three” several years ago. Celtics fans continue to hope that the Nets will finish with the worst record in the NBA and possibly secure the first overall selection in the draft.
There is a lot of time before the February 23 NBA trade deadline for the interest level in Brook Lopez to build up. A reality in the situation is that the Nets aren’t close to contending, no matter what the package is that the team receives in exchange for Lopez. It also gives the front office little reason to keep him on the roster, possibly creating a situation where they would accept first-round picks from other teams several years down the road. There are going to be more Brooklyn Nets trade rumors surfacing next week, but it’s unclear if it will actually lead to something taking place.
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