Why trading Brook Lopez doesn’t make any sense…right now

Brian Erni

“Very available.”

That’s how Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio characterized Brook Lopez’s status when asked about the Brooklyn star center and the possibility of the Cavs adding a big man. It makes sense. Lopez is coming off his second season-ending foot surgery, he makes a ton of money and the Nets have a bit of a logjam emerging at center. But it makes absolutely zero sense to trade Lopez before the season, barring a trade offer that bowls the Nets over. Here’s why…

Lopez’s trade value is at an all-time low. While Zydrunas Ilgauskas is the poster child of the success story Lopez could be upon his return, that’s no certainty. Brook carried far more weight last year in hopes of playing more aggressive under the basket, and it may have have put more pressure on his foot. Therefore, not only is simply bouncing back and being the player he has proven he can be at the NBA level very much up in the air, but the particulars are as well. Will he come into camp lighter? What’s the best weight for him to play at and still be the presence inside that he was before the injury? All these questions alongsideĀ the very real possibility that Lopez could go down at any time.lopez

So, with that in mind, what could the Nets realistically fetch in a trade? Would a team be willing to part with pick to give Brooklyn a single shot in the draft to land the next big thing? It’s interesting that the report comes out of Cleveland, back-to-back lottery winners, but if you ran the Cavs, would you give up your top pick in this deep draft for a player with this many question marks? It’s doubtful. And the Nets can’t afford to deal Lopez without getting a haul of talent back, because Lopez is no ordinary player.

We’re talking about a guy who has averaged 18 points per game through his career, and was posting 20.7 through 17 games before going down with the injury. He’s a difference maker, and borderline impossible to guard down low. Don’t be fooled by the Nets going on their run after Brook went down. He wasn’t the problem. Is he the best fit for Jason Kidd’s system? No, and Kidd admitted as much during the season. But that doesn’t mean Brooklyn should cut ties with him for nothing. Heck, they may be low on center options as it is.

TheĀ “crowded” center position? It’s very in flux. Retirement is a very real option for Kevin Garnett, Andray Blatche will opt out and declare free agency (I personally think he’ll be back, but there is more than a chance a team overpays for him), and Mason Plumlee only has (albeit a promising) 70 NBA games to his name. Those are a lot of question marks, and Billy King needs some of the ambiguity cleared up before he does anything with Lopez, because he may be in need of a center. And Brook Lopez is one heck of a center.

If Lopez can prove he’s still the same player post-surgery that was dominant to start last season — the one who played in 246 straight games to start his career — then the Nets will fetch a lot more in a deal. It may seem like a gamble, because if Lopez goes down in training camp of the preseason, he’ll be immovable, but the reward is too high and Brooklyn has too many questions not to let this situation play itself out.




3 comments
jaymanjay
jaymanjay

Let look first at how we value williams and brooke and do so as non nets fans. As fans you tend to value your own more than what the market values them.

When thinking about Williams and brooke and there trade value I think about where do they rank among the top players. Can a name 10 player who most teams would rather have than brooke or williams? I think so I don't think they are top 10 talents. I am not going to list the names right now but I think you start getting into the 20's and 30's before williams and brooke come up.

jaymanjay
jaymanjay

Brian,

Maybe brooke was not the problem but if kg and pierce return we already know that front court does not work. You would need a commitment from KG that he will no longer start, because at this point in his career pierces best position is power forward.

If I'm king the question is can brook and Williams beat LeBron or the pacers? If the answer is no then you got to start thinking about ways to rid you self of contracts before Durant hits the open market next season.

jaymanjay
jaymanjay

People keep worrying about what we would get for williams or brooke. These are not superstar in fact we don't have one and that's the biggest problem. Durant or getting another super star should be the focus or we can count the years till LeBron retires like the knicks did Jordan. You need super stars in this league and you do what you have to to get it. Williams and brooke are good but they are not top ten talents.