In an appearance on CBS Radio in Cleveland to talk Cleveland Cavaliers, Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio ended his talk with radio show hosts Baskin & Phelps by speculating that Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez is “very available”:
“In all honesty, what I have heard, and what I think is going to happen, it’d be a risky move, Brook Lopez is very available. So that could be an intriguing name for you. There you go.”
Lopez averaged 20.7 points and 6.0 rebounds in 31.4 minutes per game with the Nets in the 2013-14 season, shooting a career-high 56.3 percent from the field. But his season was cut short in December after breaking his foot in an overtime loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, and the team went just 7-10 with him in the lineup.
Let’s clear one thing up: this isn’t a direct report about any specific trade, but a speculation that Lopez can be had for the (“very”) right price. Which is true: Lopez is not untouchable, like most players in the NBA, he can be had if an appropriate deal comes along.
But the price point is what’ll likely drive a deal away. Lopez’s value is in a valley: he’s coming off multiple foot surgeries in the last few years, an additional ankle surgery, and a season where the team played far better once he’d left the lineup for good.
Teams likely won’t give up major assets for a player with Lopez’s unique set of circumstances, particularly if they haven’t seen how he plays at NBA speed after a broken foot ended his season. Conversely, the Nets won’t want to give up their youngest All-Star and longest-tenured player for very little, especially if he comes back fully healthy.
But anything is possible in the NBA, and it’s no secret that Nets general manager Billy King loves to make a trade. So if a few teams get in a bidding war, it’s possible that the Nets try to re-tool for the future without their All-Star big man.
After some time away from the team after his initial injury, Lopez returned to the Nets locker room and bench for the end of the season, sticking around during Brooklyn’s playoff games against the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat. By the end, he was not in a walking boot and shooting around before some games, but there was never any serious speculation he’d return at any point during the playoffs.