Brook Lopez has survived yet another NBA trade deadline, this time nearly being dealt to Oklahoma for PG Reggie Jackson. Lopez has been present in trade rumors since his rookie season, where he was being shopped to the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard, but he has never complained.
As Rod Boone of Newsday reported, Lopez is starting to get fed up with these rumors.
And boy did Lopez play, racking up 22 points, 14 rebounds and 1 block off the bench in Friday’s 115-105 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
That brings up another point, Lopez has had some injury trouble missing 10 of the Nets’ 53 games this season, but accepted the role as a “super-sub” off the bench without complaining. He has also started alongside Mason Plumlee or Kevin Garnett during this season. Lopez is flexible and just wants to do what is best for the team.
Even with these trade rumors floating around, Lopez still wants to be with the team which shows how loyal a player he is. Spending his whole career with the Nets, coming up on seven years with the team Lopez has remained loyal and never complained.
That said, Lopez does have a decision to make in the offseason. The Stanford alum has a player option for just under $16.8 million on his contract and it is still unclear whether or not he will pick up that option. Lopez has a couple different options.
While he would likely take a pay cut if he hit the open market due to his injury history, it may be worth it in his eyes to have more security with a new franchise, than constantly come up in trade rumors with the Nets. Lopez could opt-in and stick it out for one more year or he could opt out and negotiate a long-term deal with the Nets, which seems like the most likely option in my eyes.
What really irks me is that Lopez is treated poorly by a lot of Nets fans, being nicknamed “Slopez” and constantly being ridiculed and put down when really he is a fantastic basketball player who keeps his head up and doesn’t complain.
He is truly a great player when healthy and is not treated as so. The fact that he has not cracked and demanded a trade like other players such as Kevin Love or Dwight Howard is remarkable because his own franchise doesn’t even appreciate him.
Just think about that, does it feel like that long? All that time with Lopez being consistently excellent and he still does not get the appreciation or respect of even Mason Plumlee who just joined the team last season.
Bottom line, I would like to extend a personal thank you for all Lopez has offered on and off the court.