Re-signing Brook Lopez is Nets general manager Billy King’s top priority this offseason, and it would be difficult for the Nets to lose him for nothing. But it would be even worse if King lost him to the former coach that reportedly tried to take his job.
Gery Woelfel of the Milwaukee Journal-Times reports that Lopez would consider joining the Milwaukee Bucks — coached by ex-Nets coach Jason Kidd — if he decides to opt out of the last year of his contract, and that Lopez & Kidd have a good relationship:
If Brooklyn center Brook Lopez opts out of his contract, which is for $16.8 million, one of the teams he may consider, according to some NBA officials, is the Bucks. Lopez has a good relationship with Bucks coach Jason Kidd, who coached him in Brooklyn last season.
This isn’t the first time Lopez & Kidd have been connected following last season. Kidd reportedly lobbied to trade Lopez to the Bucks shortly before Kidd left the Nets for Milwaukee, hinting that he might have wanted to bring Lopez along with him.
Of course, Kidd left the Nets after the 2013-14 season, after reportedly seeking a presidential position in the Nets organization that would’ve given him decision-making power over King in the team’s basketball operations department.
Kidd only coached Lopez for 17 games before Lopez’s season-ending injury in December 2013, and Lopez’s lumbering style seems to clash with Kidd’s long, quick, athletic lineups. But if Kidd and Lopez truly have a good relationship, the Bucks will have enough cap room to make him a tantalizing offer. The Bucks employ nearly a full roster’s worth of players, but still have close to $17 million in cap room. One small salary dump would allow them to offer Lopez a max contract. That said, Lopez can earn the most money with the Nets, due to the structure of the collective bargaining agreement.
Lopez struggled in the first four months of the season with various injuries and an uncertain role, but flourished in the last month, winning back-to-back Player of the Week Awards and finishing the season with averages of 17.2 points and 7.4 rebounds in 29.2 minutes per game.
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