2:36pm: Lopez has indeed opted out, a source tells Bondy (on Twitter). The Nets have made no official announcement, but since players who have player options only need to declare when they’re opting in, not opting out, a formal acknowledgement might not be forthcoming.
12:05am: Nets GM Billy King said that he’s received indication from Brook Lopez that the center is likely to opt out of his deal and become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News reports (Twitter link). The move was widely anticipated, including by King, who said, “He’s probably opting out, which was expected.”
Lopez will forgo the $16,744,218 that he was due next season, with the hope that he can secure a long-term deal, and will likely be seeking the maximum, though that is merely my speculation. It makes sense for Lopez to do so given his injury history, though he risks losing an even bigger payday during the summer of 2016 when the salary cap is expected to increase dramatically. Lopez managed to remain on the court for the bulk of the 2014/15 campaign, appearing in 72 contests after only playing in 17 games the previous year due to injury. He averaged 17.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks in 29.2 minutes per contest. His shooting line was .513/.100/.813.
Brooklyn has a hole in its frontcourt with the draft night deal that sent Mason Plumlee to Portland in exchange for Arizona swingman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and point guard Steve Blake. The Nets will certainly anticipate having competition for Lopez’s services. The Bucks are expected pursue Lopez, with a league source telling Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times during the spring that they thought Lopez might consider opting out and signing with the Bucks, citing his ties to former Nets and current Bucks coach Jason Kidd. The Spurs also reportedly have some level of interest in Lopez as well.