Brook Lopez has been on the trade block since the Brooklyn Nets were making a run at Dwight Howard, yet he has played through all these rumors and still excelled as a big man.
Of course Lopez has his faults, he is injury prone, and a lackadaisical rebounder for his size, but he also has his pros, a lot of pros. When he is on the floor, Lopez is among the best offensive centers in the NBA. After Al Jefferson, Lopez may be the best back to the basket scorer in the league. His offensive repertoire is completed by his deadly midrange jumper, which provides floor spacing for the Nets’ offense.
Lopez, who has been nicknamed “Slopez” is more athletic than you would think. You can see Lopez’s athleticism on this play.
I am not completely against trading Lopez, but his trade value is low, and he will have more of an impact than any assets the Nets could receive in a trade.
A few deals were proposed by other teams, which shows there is an interest in the Stanford product, but the deals proposed were underwhelming.
The Miami Heat proposed a deal where they would receive Lopez, and the Nets would receive Josh McRoberts, Norris Cole and Chris Andersen. In this deal the Nets would receive a player out for the season, a backup point guard at best and Chris Andersen, who is a solid big man, but would not part of the Nets’ long-term future.
Lance Stephenson, a Brooklyn Native was also rumored to be headed to the Nets in a three-team deal involving the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Nets would receive Stephenson and likely Kendrick Perkins expiring deal, but would also have to ship off Jarrett Jack, one of their top performing players to Charlotte. Stephenson has performed poorly this season, and Perkins has digressed severely during his time in Oklahoma.
See what I meant about underwhelming deals?
Lopez’s value on the court simply trumps his value on the trade market. Yes he may be injured often, but Brooklyn has the depth to cover for him, at least this season. Mason Plumlee and Kevin Garnett are both capable starters, and Lopez has actually been coming off the bench at points during this season.
However, Garnett’s future in Brooklyn is unclear, his contract terminates after this season, and retirement seems like a feasible option for the big man. Without Garnett, and Lopez’s shaky injury status, the Nets will need to find another big man who can step in and start games.
Lopez is the longest tenured Net, and has stayed loyal to the franchise. He doesn’t complain, he simply does his job. Having these type of egos is extremely undervalued in today’s NBA. Looking at the San Antonio Spurs, everyone plays to their role, doesn’t complain and they end up playing good basketball. Same with the Atlanta Hawks this year.
Lopez may be injury prone, but has a place in Brooklyn and should not be dealt before the February trade deadline. With Jack’s stellar play, it makes more sense to deal Deron Williams than Lopez.
Lopez proved his value recently against the Sacramento Kings, putting up 22 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 6 blocks. If Lopez plays even close to those standards, the Nets should definitely keep him in Brooklyn.