Brook Lopez re-signed with the Nets under one condition — no more trade talk

2. Brook Lopez (3 seasons, 163 games) Despite everything, Brook Lopez is still here. Despite every rumor that the Nets wanted to ship him away, for everyone from Dwight Howard to Lance Stephenson to Reggie Jackson, Brook Lopez still plods away, putting up a boring 17 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks at Barclays Center. Despite multiple foot surgeries and two chances to test the free agent market, Brook Lopez stands to be the longest-tenured player in Nets franchise history, and assuredly he'll own a few more records than that when all is said and done. His flaws are obvious. He's not an explosive athlete or a killer rebounder, and his foot will be a concern until the day he retires. But the Nets stumbled backwards into the franchise player that wanted to be there all along. Despite everything, Brook Lopez is a Brooklyn Net. In that sense, it's a bit poetic that he ends up the #2 on this list.

Brook Lopez, against all odds, likes New York. He likes playing in Brooklyn. He’s comfortable here, and adjusted to an East Coast life after a childhood in California. But when he re-upped with a three-year deal this past summer, it was seen as a surprise by some. It was Lopez’s first real chance to test the free agent market, and see whether or not he’d like to make a home elsewhere.

But it didn’t take long before the Nets & Lopez came to an agreement — under one condition, according to Lopez.

The condition? “Cool it with the trade talk,” as Chris Mannix of reported. (Those are Mannix’s words.)

“We asked them to temper those ideas,” Lopez said. “We told them to pump the brakes a little.”

And the Nets response?

“They said they would, but it’s a business,” Lopez said. “It’s the way it is sometimes.”

It’s a bit of a surprise that Lopez, who notoriously avoids the rumor mill and NBA news cycle, would care that much about whether or not his name was on the market. But that’s a sign of just how bad it got. A quick search for “Brook Lopez trade” on Google returns almost 500,000 results. That’s a lot of trade talk for somebody who’s never been traded, or ever even switched teams in his eight-year career. The rumors spanned everyone from Dwight Howard to Lance Stephenson to Reggie Jackson — the latter, the Nets believed, was a done deal this past February until the Thunder pulled out at the last second.

Following the non-trade at the All-Star Break, Lopez dominated, averaging 19.7 points and 9.2 rebounds per game in the second half of the season. He’s the team’s top scorer and rebounder thus far this season, even as his role in the offense has slightly shifted following Deron Williams’s departure.

There hasn’t been any significant trade talk around Lopez this year, beyond a few columnists suggesting that the Nets could get value on the market for him. We’ll see if that side of the bargain holds up.

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