The Nets just cannot catch a break. Well, not a good one.
Brook Lopez – their quality starting center and the anchor of their proposed trade package with Orlando for Dwight Howard — has a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone in his foot and will have surgery on it Friday, the team announced.
No time frame for his returns is yet set, however the Nets think he could be back within six weeks, reports Adrain Wojnarowski of Yahoo. That seems wildly optimistic, other players who have had this type of situation are usually out for at least three months.
The timing matters because the trade deadline is March 15. The Nets were one of three teams Howard said he would sign an extension with (the Lakers and the Mavericks are the others) and so long as the are on that list the Nets have a chance. But to ge a deal done now will likely require multiple teams (it already did, that just got more complex).
There are other concerns for the Nets, too. No Lopez — especially if he is out for the season — is going to make it much harder to keep Deron Williams happy and get him to sign an extension and lead the Nets into Brooklyn next year.
The injury happened in the first half of Wednesday’s preseason game between the Nets and Knicks, tweets Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. It didn’t seem that severe and Lopez played through it, only postgame X-rays determined the severity.
This really sets an already struggling Nets team back because Lopez was key to their offense. Last season the a 23-year-old center averaged 20.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Lopez had not missed one game in his first three years in the league.
Bondy adds that Nets GM Billy King is not looking for an immediate replacement. Right. He will be soon enough. Although right now he is probably still in shock.