Lowe’s Latest: Lopez, Biyombo, Davis

Most executives around the league expect Brook Lopez to turn down his player option for next season, worth more than $16.744MM, writes Grantland’s Zach Lowe. That’s on the heels of his surge over the past month, as he averaged 20.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game in March, and he’s upped those numbers to 22.8 PPG and 9.8 RPG so far in April. Lowe wrote in December that most execs thought Lopez would pick up the option, so it seems his hot streak has changed thinking around the league. Still, Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck wrote just a week after Lowe’s report in December that he had heard from many executives who expected even then that Lopez would opt out. The Nets center said a few weeks ago that he hadn’t thought about what to do with the option, so there’s some mystery here. Lowe has more rumors from his latest column, which focuses on players with decent chances of becoming this year’s version of what DeMarre Carroll was in 2013, when he signed a two-year, $5MM pact that wound up a bargain deal for the Hawks.

  • Bismack Biyombo will almost certainly see the value of his qualifying offer from the Hornets shrink from more than $5.194MM to nearly $4.046MM thanks to the starter criteria that he has virtually no chance of meeting. Executives are “nearly unanimous” that he wouldn’t command annual salaries of that nearly $5.2MM amount in free agency this summer, according to Lowe, though while most people believe a team could snag him for about $4MM a year, no one is sure about that, Lowe adds.
  • Ed Davis rejected a multiyear contract offer from the Grizzlies this past summer, several league sources tell Lowe. He instead signed with the Lakers on a two-year deal for the minimum salary with a player option that he’s said he plans to decline in search of a long-term deal this summer. Davis turned down a rookie scale extension in the fall of 2013 that would have given him annual salaries of $5-6MM beginning this season, as Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal reported this past October.
  • Derrick Williams doesn’t intrigue front offices as much as he did a year ago, Lowe writes. He, too, is in line for a reduced qualifying offer from the Kings for failing to meet the starter criteria.
  • Lowe identifies the Spurs as a team to watch on Mirza Teletovic, though it’s unclear if that’s just speculation. The Nets can match offers if they extend a qualifying offer of more than $4.21MM.

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