Could Brook Lopez be Miami-bound? ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk reports that the Miami Heat have taken an interest in acquiring the seven-footer, who started in place of Kevin Garnett Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies:
Hearing Nets continue to talk to teams about Brook Lopez. Sources say Miami has shown a strong interest.
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) January 14, 2015
Logistically, the pieces fit. Both teams are over the salary cap, but the Nets could take back Luol Deng as the meat of a deal to help the Nets & Heat match salaries, and then mix and match a couple of prospects to grease the wheels. The Nets wouldn’t save much money on the deal, unless they could convince Deng to opt out of the second year of his contract — an unlikely scenario, unless Deng really wants out or the Nets try to get him on a smaller deal.
Miami is an intriguing destination for Lopez. A trade would allow the Heat to create a new — if less talented — “Big 3,” with Lopez flanking guard Dwyane Wade and forward Chris Bosh. Signing Lopez would allow Bosh to commit fully to playing defense and spacing the floor, as Lopez would become the team’s primary post option. Miami is also just a car trip from Disney World.
Lopez seems like the most likely Nets player to be dealt at this point — he’s got the smallest contract of the three, and could potentially provide value as a post-up and scoring big man as he gets healthier. But he’s also the longest-tenured Nets player by a long shot, and has survived countless trade rumors since the Nets drafted him in 2008. Can he outlast another?