The Brooklyn Nets are so far removed from their championship dreams that they have dissembled that entire team except one– Brook Lopez. The 7-foot Center has been in the NBA 9 years, all with the Nets. However, Lopez has not led the Nets anywhere close to a title and has continued to under-perform while being overpaid. If the Nets are to have any type of success moving forward, Brook Lopez must be traded this season.
The reason being– Lopez will be a Free Agent in 2018. If the Nets are to do a proper rebuild they must move him this offseason or by the Trade Deadline. What this does is ensure that the team would at least get a few draft picks for him. If they wait until 2018 they will be put in a tough situation. Lopez will make $23M this year and if the Nets want him to return– that number could rise as high as $34M per.
Simply put– Lopez is not worth that type of money.
He’s a great scorer as his 21 points per game in 2016 would indicate but it’s the other aspects that he fails at. How can a seven-footer who plays primarily in the post and does so for 30+ minutes a game average less than 6 rebounds per? His defense is shaky and now he’s trying to develop a three-point shot. Lopez must know that his days in Brooklyn are numbered and he’s auditioning for his next team.
The Nets may not be able to move him this offseason. Lopez makes a ton of money that no team has been willing to take on. However, come Trade Deadline time, his contract will be partially paid for, thus resulting in a lower risk. A contending team like the Boston Celtics or the San Antonio Spurs could make a push for Lopez who could help the team make a title run.
For the Nets it’s simple. Get rid of Lopez and build around the young talent like Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Sean Kilpatrick, Isaiah Whitehead, and Jeremy Lin. These guys are the future of the Nets. A Lopez trade will not get back the talent they lost in terms of draft picks over the years thanks to that awful Celtis deal but it’s a start.
Lopez is a fan favorite– most night’s at least but to be honest, his contract and play is holding the team back.