Reports: Nets reach deal with Brook Lopez

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Brook Lopez is going to be the starting center opening up the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, not playing in Orlando next fall.

But don’t think the Nets chasing of Dwight Howard is over just yet.

The Nets have reached an agreement with Brook Lopez, according to multiple reports (Stephen Bondy of the New York Daily News was first). It is a four-year, $61 million deal, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Lopez was the centerpiece of the Nets efforts to trade for Howard. By signing him themselves, the Nets cannot trade him until Jan. 15. But they can after that. If Lopez had signed an offer sheet with Portland or Charlotte (two teams rumored to be interested) and the Nets had matched then the Nets could not have traded him for a year.

The Nets will try and rejoin the Howard trade talks if the center is still on the Magic roster come Jan. 15. But now there is a window for the Rockets, Lakers or some other team to try and get in and take Howard.

The Magic have suspended trade talks for Howard as they try to reassess where things stand and what they can get for the superstar.