Brook Lopez Reportedly Shut Down for Remainder of 2015-16 Season

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2016

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez will reportedly be shut down for the remainder of the season, according to Sarah Kustok of YES Network and Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.

Lopez, 28, has averaged 20.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, two assists and 1.7 blocks in 33.7 minutes per game this season. In a disappointing campaign for the Nets, he's been one of the few bright spots—alongside forward Thaddeus Young, who also will reportedly be shut down, per Kustok.

With Lopez sidelined, backup center Henry Sims is in line for a major boost in minutes, while Thomas Robinson will be given an extended look as the Nets look to build for the future.

Lopez could potentially be done with the Nets, as Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote that the team considered dealing him and Young before this year's trade deadline.

Any such deal would be the final domino of a full tear-down project that began when the team bought out Deron Williams in the summer and continued when both Joe Johnson and Andrea Bargnani were buyout casualties as well.

As Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post noted, the Nets have one of two options with their veteran pillars:

It's a tough decision for the Nets to make, and essentially comes down to how [general manager Sean] Marks wants to attempt to rebuild the roster: either try to get veteran help to put around Lopez and Young now, and try and fight back to the middle, or to completely tear down the roster by trading Lopez and Young for draft picks and build for three years from now.

The former is probably more appealing to the Nets, as a full rebuild will make filling the seats in the Barclays Center more difficult. Nonetheless, it remains a possibility the team will deal Lopez—its most valuable asset—in the offseason to secure draft picks and start from scratch.

In other words, it will be an offseason of intrigue for the big man.

 

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