The Los Angeles Lakers are moving into the offseason with a lot of their veteran players entering free agency. One of those vets is Brook Lopez, who according to LA Sports Hub’s Jason Reed only has a 15 percent chance of getting re-signed this summer.
Lopez, who will turn 30 on Sunday, is in the final year of the three-year, $63.5 million contract he signed with the Brooklyn Nets in the summer of 2015. He is set to earn around $22 million at the end of this season before becoming an unrestricted free agent in July.
Surprisingly, the one-time All-Star has been effective in his supporting role for the Lakers despite producing some of the lowest numbers of his 10-year career. Lopez averages 13.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.4 blocks in a career-low 23.3 minutes per game in 65 games for head coach Luke Walton this season.
Even so, most NBA analysts believe that the Lakers are not going to retain Lopez beyond this season, especially if the team successfully gets the two max players they have long desired. However, in the event that the Hollywood squad fails to get their superstars and decide to keep him, the former Stanford star would only get less than a $6 million annual salary. This kind of deal is something that the 7-foot center would likely reject, Reed said.
At the moment, the Lakers would only have Ivica Zubac and Thomas Bryant as the only remaining true centers on their roster should they choose to let Lopez go. Both youngsters are considered too raw to be “NBA starting caliber players,” per the report.
Gil Alcaraz IV of Hoops Habit said that if the Lakers miss out on LeBron James and Paul George, then the chances of Lopez, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, or even Isaiah Thomas getting one-year extensions could go higher.
The ballclub is still expected to refrain from giving out long-term deals anytime soon as the summer of 2019 also has a pretty good lineup of available free agents, including Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, and Kawhi Leonard, all of whom are currently linked to the Lakers.
ESPN previously reported that the Lakers are open to “recalibrate” their focus to the 2019 free agency period. The team is reportedly “becoming more realistic” about their chances of signing James or George this summer as the two superstars are more likely inclined to stay with their respective squads at this time.