Brook Lopez has seemingly been on the trade block since signing his latest contract in 2015, though at least now it appears the Brooklyn Nets have set a price for teams to bid on the veteran center.
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Nets Set High Price for Lopez
Saturday, Jan. 7
According to ESPN.com's Marc Stein, the Nets are seeking two first-round draft picks for Lopez.
Lopez's stats have dipped slightly this season. He's averaging 19.9 points and just 5.2 rebounds per game, but he is making up for that with a career-high 2.6 assists per game.
The 28-year-old has also added range to his game, shooting 36.1 percent from the three-point line. He once seemed to be an injury risk but played 145 games over the previous two seasons and has appeared in 32 of 35 games so far this season.
Per Spotrac, Lopez has a steep $21.2 million salary this season and $22.6 million salary next season, which makes him a difficult player to move.
The Nets are at least doing the logical thing with Lopez's market. This franchise needs to embrace a full rebuild and accrue draft picks. Brooklyn's draft situation is horrible thanks to the 2013 trade with the Boston Celtics for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
The Nets didn't have a first-round pick in 2016, and the Celtics have the right to swap first-round picks in 2017 and receive the Nets' first-round pick in 2018.
It's hard to field a competitive team with no draft stock at all, so finding ways to add those assets is essential for the Nets if they want to be relevant in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets have no reason to keep Lopez because of where they are as a franchise and his potential injury risk. Therefore, making a move before the Feb. 23 trade deadline makes the most sense if they can find a partner.