Shortly after he was hired, new Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson raved about Brook Lopez, suggesting that he views the big center as an important part of the club’s rebuilding plan. Lopez expressed similar enthusiasm earlier this month, telling Fred Kerber of The New York Post that he feels like the Nets are the moving in the right direction. Lopez also helped the team recruit free agents this offseason.
Still, the Nets project to be a lottery team this season, and perhaps the year after that too. That’s a problem for Brooklyn because a poor finish won’t allow the team to add a potential star with a top pick — the Celtics have the ability to swap first-round picks with the Nets in 2017, and own Brooklyn’s pick outright in 2018.
In other words, the Nets’ rebuilding process could be a long, painful one, and it will likely extend beyond the end of Lopez’s current contract, which expires in 2018. As such, it’s no surprise that the 28-year-old’s name has surfaced in trade speculation. Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders identifies Lopez as one of three trade candidates to watch as the season approaches, while Michael Pina of RealGM.com argues that the Nets should trade Lopez at some point — it’s just a matter of finding a fit.
Pina has a hard time finding a suitable trade partner for the Nets, eventually landing on the Bucks as a suitor that could make sense. However, he concedes that even Milwaukee isn’t a perfect match, and points out that it may not be easy for Brooklyn to pick up long-term assets in a deal involving Lopez. Even though the Nets probably should trade Lopez, Pina writes, simply selling him to the highest bidder may not be an ideal course of action.
Our poll question is fairly simple: Should the Nets trade Lopez during the 2016/17 league year? But there are nuances to the discussion. What sort of assets should Brooklyn be targeting? Do you see any team that would make sense as a trade partner for the Nets? Could it be in the club’s best interests to hang on to Lopez and perhaps seek a deal in 2017/18, allowing him to be a veteran presence this season on a young roster?
Vote in our poll, and weigh in below in the comment section to share your thoughts!
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