Brooklyn Nets big man Brook Lopez is reportedly on the trading block according to ESPN's Marc Stein, but he won’t come on the cheap. The Nets are apparently asking for not one, but two first-round picks for their star center, who is averaging 19.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 1.9 3-pointers per game this season.
Lopez, 28, has spent his entire 8-year NBA career with the Nets franchise, and is the only player on the current roster who has spent more than two seasons in Brooklyn.
Why 2 first-rounders?
The Brooklyn Nets are in a bad spot, not just this season, but in the coming years. They are currently 8-27, the worst record in the league. But they won’t be able to reap the benefits of that potential top lottery pick since the Boston Celtics have the right to swap picks with them in next year’s draft after that horrific trade involving Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. That makes their ability to find the building blocks they need to get their team back to respectability very difficult.
Lopez is without question the team’s most valuable asset at this point, and the Nets need to get the most value possible for him, preferably in the form of draft capital. Setting the price for Lopez at two first-rounders is obviously steep, but Timofey Mozgov famously fetched that price just a few years ago. The Nets aren’t in any pressing need to sell right now despite Lopez having just one year on his contract after this season. And if some team does bite, the Nets will get just what they want.
The Nets could conceivably lose the rest of their games this season if they lost Lopez; their roster is just that bad. But in their current predicament two first-rounders would be an offer they just can’t refuse.
Is Lopez worth it?
Lopez is without question a very good player. He’s a terrific post scorer (18 PPG in his career) and this season he’s added a 3-pointer which he's proven he can knock down fairly consistently. But he’s not the greatest defender for a big man, he has a history of foot problems, his deal is about to run out, and the $22 million he's owed for next season is pricey. Two first-round picks sounds like too steep a price to get for that sort of package.
It’s also tough to see which team has that combination of excess first-round picks and a desperate enough need for a scoring big man that they would be willing to meet the Nets’ asking price. With no apparent market for him, as well as a hefty price tag, it’s unlikely Lopez gets moved this season. That is, unless the Nets decide to drop their demands considerably in the coming weeks.
Where do you think Brook Lopez will land? Let us know why in the comments!