Lopez reportedly has a strong relationship with Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd, who coached him in Brooklyn a year ago. But the Nets have already declared that they want Lopez back.
General manager Billy King confirmed Wednesday his commitment to sign Lopez if, as expected, he opts out of his contract in favor of unrestricted free agency in July.
"For us to get in the playoffs that stretch, [Lopez] was the guy who carried us," King told the New York Post. "He was our best player. Without Brook Lopez, there's no way we even get to where we go to this year.
"I'll say it again: We want him back. I want him back, [coach] Lionel [Hollins] wants him back, ownership wants him back. We've all said it. There shouldn't be any more doubts about it."
King, however, is open to trading Williams and Johnson.
"We're going to explore all options, as we have [previously]," he added. "Will there be a trade? There could be, but I'm not sure."
Though his numbers were down from the previous year, Lopez was particularly productive as the Nets fought for and won a playoff spot. He finished the season averaging 17.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.
His team finished under .500 and lost in the first round of the playoffs despite boasting such talent as Johnson,
"I don't see us coming back as the same team," Johnson told the New York Daily News. "This is my third year here. I could see if we were getting better each year, but it's been kind of the opposite. So to not even be a .500 ball club in the East, it's disheartening and I don't know. I think everyone in the locker room is unsure of the future here."
The Nets have no cap space and pick 29th in the draft. Lopez and
Hollins was still complaining Saturday.
"I thought we had a higher basketball IQ as a group than we did," he said. "That was a big thing. I thought we had more toughness and all of that. But as a coach, looking from the outside, that's what I always say until you come in and coach a team you don't know for sure. I thought the skill level was better ... but we worked around it and that's part of coaching."
Williams declined to to speak to the media as he and his teammates gathered their bags and took off.
Lopez and Young will most likely opt out of their current contracts and get multi-year deals if they're to remain in Brooklyn.
Anderson will exercise his option to become a free agent, reports the New York Post
The Nets were a five seed in last season's Eastern Conference playoffs but fell to No. 8 this year, losing in the first round to the Hawks.
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