The Brooklyn Nets don’t have control over their first-round draft picks until 2019. The team could trade Brook Lopez in exchange for younger, more long-term assets.
The 7-foot center is approaching the prime of his career, which isn’t saying much. He has been plagued by recurring foot problems the last few seasons. The Nets may decide to move on from the one-time All-Star.
His two-year, $43.8 million contract is very appealing to most teams. Despite his elite-caliber skill set, he won’t be among the top 30 highest paid NBA players this upcoming season. Interested suitors would jump at the chance to get him for dirt cheap.
By comparison, role players such as Bismack Biyombo and Ryan Anderson will be making almost the same amount of money as Lopez in the next two years.
According to Bleacher Report, no player on the Nets roster is untouchable. The team will even trade proven veterans for future draft picks. A mid-end first-rounder coupled with financial place holders would be enough to force Lopez out of Brooklyn.
Earlier this year, Timothy Palladino of Nothin But Nets claimed that Lopez and Thaddeus Young might be traded if the Nets come across an enticing deal. Nets general manager Sean Marks reportedly wants more roster flexibility moving forward.
“The big names, Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Jarrett Jack are expected to say on the team and not be moved,” Palladino mused. “However, the Nets are a team that may not be waiting for next year’s free agent class or draft to improve their team.”
Jack was the first one to go. He was waived by the Nets in June. He then signed a one-year $1.5 million deal with the Atlanta Hawks. A month later, Young was traded to the Indiana Pacers for the draft rights to Caris LeVert.
As for Lopez, he doesn’t want to be held back by the constant trade rumors. He has been working on his conditioning all summer long. He believes he needs to be more agile to reap the benefits of coach Kenny Atkinson’s motion offense.
“I think the process will definitely continue over the regular season as well,” Lopez told Newsday. “We are learning on the fly, but we have lots of intelligent, smart and selfless guys in here, so, we are picking it up quick.”