Brook Lopez trade rumors continue to emerge as the Los Angeles Lakers center is set to enter unrestricted free agency this summer. With his three-year, $63 million deal expiring in July, LA Sports Hub predicted that the Golden State Warriors might be one of the teams that are interested in signing him.
After spending the first nine years of his career with the Nets’ franchise, Brooklyn traded the 30-year-old Lopez to the Lakers last summer in exchange for then-sophomore point guard D’Angelo Russell and fellow big man Timofey Mozgov. Despite posting dismal numbers statistics-wise, the former Stanford Cardinal standout ended up having a solid season with the Hollywood squad as he provided them with much-needed veteran leadership and outside shooting.
In 74 games for the Lakers, coming off the bench in only two of them, Lopez has averaged 13.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.3 blocks in only 23.4 minutes a night. His points-per-game tied for the lowest in his career while his rebounding numbers are better only than the 3.6 rebounds-per-game he recorded in the 2011-2012 season. However, his three-point shooting percentage remained at 34.5 percent, which is remarkable for a player of his size and position.
A previous Inquisitr article reported that the Lakers are “unlikely to re-sign” Lopez this summer as the team’s priority is to sign two maximum salary players, such as LeBron James and Paul George. Los Angeles is said to be clearing as much cap space as possible to accommodate the large contracts of both James and George.
With that, LA Sports Hub’s Jason Reed predicted that the defending champion Warriors might pick up Lopez in free agency, although at a much lower cost. The reporter said that Golden State may be willing to offer Lopez the combined salaries of Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee, who are both going to become unrestricted free agents as well this offseason, which stands at around $5.5 million per season.
While Lopez is expected to ask for a bigger deal than that because of the value he knows he could still bring to the table, joining the Warriors would give him the opportunity to play for a title-contending team for the first time in his career, Reed said. Not only that, the reporter continued that Lopez is “perfect for the system that Steve Kerr and company have implemented in Golden State.”
The center tandem of Lopez and incoming sophomore Jordan Bell would be ideal for the Warriors as the former brings finesse, experience, and long-range shooting at his spot while the latter could provide “intensity and rebounding off the bench.”