Nets GM Billy King reiterated that re-signing center Brook Lopez is a priority for the franchise, which views the big man as a centerpiece to build around, Tim Bontemps of The New York Post writes. “For us to get in the playoffs that stretch, [Lopez] was the guy who carried us. He was our best player,” King said. “Without Brook Lopez, there’s no way we even get to where we go to this year. I’ll say it again: We want him back. I want him back, [coach] Lionel [Hollins] wants him back, ownership wants him back. We’ve all said it. There shouldn’t be any more doubts about it.” Lopez has a player option worth $16,744,2187 for 2015/16, but can become an unrestricted free agent if he opts out this summer.
Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- King refused to comment on the status of extension talks between he and the Nets, but said he was comfortable working next season without agreeing to a new deal, Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com relays (Twitter link).
- When asked if there is a trade market for the Nets‘ big money contracts like Deron Williams‘ and Joe Johnson‘s, King said, “We could have moved them,” Andy Vasquez of The Record tweets.
- The Sixers are potentially interested in selecting Jamal Jones and making him a domestic draft-and-stash pick this June, similar to what the Thunder did with Josh Huestis last season, Shams Charania of RealGM writes. “The Sixers have had interest in me all year just because even though I didn’t have a good season with Delaware, they were always there for the practices and they have seen what I’m capable of,” Jones told Charania. “They’re very interested, and want me come up, work out for them and see how I’ve progressed in the time since the season ended.” Jones appeared in 45 contests for Philly’s D-League affiliate this past season, averaging 7.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 0.9 assists.