Brook Lopez is one of the better offensive centers in the NBA. He is very dangerous on the pick-and-pop, can score on the block, gets rebounds, and is a double-double machine when healthy. He also showed off three-point range against the Pistons this week, he hit four threes.
Lopez also is not part of the Nets’ long-term future. He’s the best trade asset on a team in a deep rebuilding mode.
Some rival executives are increasingly convinced that the Nets are open to moving Lopez between now and the February deadline in the proverbial right deal.
Rumblings of Boston interest have been forcefully shot down by sources familiar with the Celtics’ thinking, but the situation bears monitoring — and not simply because the Celts could ultimately decide that a big in-season move is wisest in the event they can’t create as much cap space next summer as they once hoped.
Sources stressed to ESPN.com in recent days that they believe as it stands, the Nets are merely fielding calls and doing their due diligence. Listening to other teams, in other words, as opposed to shopping the former All-Star center.
The Nets are gauging the market. Which is what they should do.
The reality is the Nets don’t control their first-round draft pick until 2019, their rebuild is going to be long and slow. It’s the price they pay for the Mikhail Prokhorov-ordered slapping together of a “contender” to open Barclays Center a few years back. He tried to treat the NBA like it was the English Premiere League and just buy his way to the top. That does not work in the NBA.
Moving Lopez for the right package of picks and younger players will help with that cause. But Brooklyn GM Sean Marks is far too savvy just to give him away, it’s going to take a good offer. The first step in getting there, gauge the market.