The Brooklyn Nets will have to come to terms soon enough that holding Brook Lopez hostage is the wrong thing to do. I understand that he’s known no other team than the Nets during his NBA career but his talents and worth does not match the current Nets roster and what they’re trying to do for the future.
Just three seasons ago the Nets were picked to contend for an NBA Championship but the roster fell short and star players like Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson were sent packing. All that was left was Lopez. Now, it’s official, the Nets have hooked their trailer to the big man but is that fair to him? How does it feel to go from a contender to a team that has struggled to get 10 wins this year?
Lopez has done all he could do to try to right the ship but his hands are tied. The Nets have no picks thanks to the deal with the Boston Celtics and no top free agents has their sights set on Brooklyn for the foreseeable future. Lopez, in his 8th season, is averaging 21 points, five rebounds and two assists per game but it is his growth on the perimeter that has increased his value.
Lopez has managed to become an average three-point shooter. He doesn’t have the range of Dirk Nowitzki but for a player that has solely been a post player his 35 percent from beyond the arc is not that bad. The constant knock on Lopez has been his defense and rebounding. For a player of that height and skill set, he lacks in the main areas teams need when it comes to post players. Five rebounds are guards numbers and this may be the reason why Lopez is still a Net and not with the Golden State Warriors or the Toronto Raptors.
But, if a team that already has a strong defensive presence in the post needs a scorer like the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks or the New Orleans Pelicans then Lopez may be worth that gamble. Each of those teams has a player that can either switch to the PF position or are already solid defenders and can allow Lopez to just focus on the offensive side of the ball.
But, Lopez will not come cheap. He’s currently signed through 2018 with an annual salary of $21M+. A team will have to be desperate to grab a post player with no defensive strengths. But, if he was to get with a defensive coach or players that give their all on that end with the possibility of playing for a title then that may be the spark that Lopez needs to kick it into high gear.
The Nets need draft picks and enough bodies to throw on the floor nightly. Their season is over, there is no magical run coming and no savior on the way in the future. All they have to look forward to is seeing how many three’s Lopez can make this year. He needs to be moved and the Nets owe him that much.