Report: Nets open to trade talks for Brook Lopez, Celtics not interested
Lopez could be a real upgrade for a mid-tier playoff team
The Nets have been surprisingly competitive early on this season, but they're still 2-3 and expected to be one of the worst teams in the league. With Jeremy Lin ailing for several weeks with a hamstring, things could get very dicey.
Brooklyn is still transitioning to a new era and trying to clean up the rampant mistakes of the previous regime. They're also playing an entirely different brand of basketball. Brooklyn is currently ninth in pace, and fourth in 3-point-rate. They are running and gunning. You know who doesn't really fit that kind of model, and is the only player who can fetch a draft pick on the open market? Brook Lopez.
Speak of the devil, and he shall have trade rumors reported of him. ESPN reports Friday that the Nets are once again -- for what feels like the millionth time -- looking at trading the versatile big man.
Some rival executives are increasingly convinced that the Nets are open to moving Lopez between now and the February deadline in the proverbial right deal.
Rumblings of Boston interest have been forcefully shot down by sources familiar with the Celtics' thinking, but the situation bears monitoring -- and not simply because the Celts could ultimately decide that a big in-season move is wisest in the event they can't create as much cap space next summer as they once hoped.
Sources stressed to ESPN.com in recent days that they believe as it stands, the Nets are merely fielding calls and doing their due diligence. Listening to other teams, in other words, as opposed to shopping the former All-Star center.
The Nets should obviously pick up the phone for anyone that calls. They're not good enough to turn away any offer at the door. Lopez was very nearly dealt to Oklahoma City two years ago in a deadline deal that fell apart. (Who knows how that would have worked out?) The idea of trading Lopez has been broached many times before, but a deal never went through.
However, this year's a bit different. Teams have cap space to absorb his contract and bigs are starting to come back to being viable given the success of larger lineups vs. the Warriors. Lopez is coachable, efficient, and hasn't had foot troubles in a long time.
The Celtics don't make much sense after signing Al Horford in free agency. You could play them together, but the spacing would be rough and the rebounding not great. However, Boston's always looking for a big move. Then again if you're Nets GM Sean Marks after what happened with the Kevin Garnett-Paul Pierce deal, the minute "Danny Ainge" showed up on caller ID, I'd throw the phone out the window and into the ocean.
Lopez opted to re-sign with the Nets two years ago, he's clearly comfortable there, but on a real mid-tier playoff team he could provide a major upgrade.
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