Strike while the iron is hot.
It’s not just a phrase for medieval blacksmiths, it can apply to NBA free agency as well. While many potential free agents are eyeing being available come 2016 — when the salary cap will jump by $23 million or so — but if you’ve had a really good 2015, it might be better to get max now then bet on being in the same hot spot a year from now.
Enter Brooklyn’s Brook Lopez.
After years of battling injuries, he’s been largely healthy this season and been on fire since the All-Star break. In his last 10 games, he’s averaging 25.6 points per game on 60.2 percent shooting, plus he’s doing better on the boards grabbing 8.8 a game. He’s the two-time Eastern Conference Player of the Week and is the reason the Nets are likely a playoff team.
And he’s likely to strike while the iron is hot, reports Zach Lowe at Grantland.
Most execs expect Lopez to opt out and enter free agency after rampaging across the league over the last month.
Lopez will likely draw max offers, with teams thinking that what is a max salary for him this summer doesn’t look too bad a year later when the cap space spikes. (A number of guys are going to get paid this summer on that theory.)
Lopez is set to make $16.7 million with the Nets, and they will have to decide whether to pay him big if he opts out — they already have both Joe Johnson ($24 million) and Deron Williams ($21 million) on the books and will likely need to try and retain both Lopez and Thaddeus Young. They likely will not pay for all of that.
Meaning Lopez could be on the move, and some big markets might drool over the chance to add him.