The Nets don’t appear overly motivated at this point to move Brook Lopez, who has another year remaining on his contract after 2016/17. Although he could potentially be had before February’s trade deadline, the asking price will be high. According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, word is that the Nets are currently seeking two first-round picks in any deal for Lopez.
Lopez, viewed at one point as a health risk after he missed significant chunks of two separate seasons due to foot injuries, has appeared in at least 72 games in each of the last two seasons, and is on track to do so again this year. The veteran center is having another solid season in Brooklyn, averaging 19.9 PPG and 1.7 BPG, though his FG% (.466) and RPG (5.2) are career lows.
Of course, the dip in Lopez’s shooting percentage can be attributed to his newfound three-point shot — After taking just 31 three-point shots in his career, the 28-year-old is averaging more than five long-distance attempts per contest this season, making nearly two per game.
Set to earn just under $22MM annually for this year and next year, Lopez would be a solid trade chip to help the rebuilding Nets add more assets. However, former team executive Bobby Marks noted last month that there’s no rush for the Nets to make a move, since they like having Lopez on the roster. Marks also suggested that Lopez is more likely than most players to re-sign with his current team in free agency, meaning Brooklyn could wait until next season and still get good value, since a team acquiring the big man could be pretty confident about re-signing him.
The Nets currently don’t own a first-round pick for 2018, and will almost certainly end up with the Celtics’ first-rounder instead of their own in 2017.