HoopsHype Brook Lopez rumors

December 20, 2014 Updates

Without Lopez, second-year big man Mason Plumlee has starred, averaging 14.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in Lopez’s absence. Despite the Nets current three-game losing streak, the former Duke star has reached double figures in his past five games and scored a career-high 23 points in a loss at Toronto on Wednesday. “It’s not just offense, defensively he’s rebounded better, he’s rotating better. He’s just doing,” Hollins said. “Instead of thinking, ‘I should be playing more, I’m not getting this, I get yelled at all the tine,’ he stood up as a man and said I have to play better. Once he acknowledged that, he started playing better.” New York Post

Brooklyn might have better luck unloading Brook Lopez on a rebuilding team willing to take a chance on the injury-prone center, who has one year and $16.8 million left. In any scenario, the Nets have indicated no willingness to take on contracts that go beyond next season, as they are positioned to have $50 million in cap room when the new TV deal kicks in and won't jeopardize it for a short-term fix, league sources say. CBSSports.com

December 15, 2014 Updates
December 14, 2014 Updates

Of course, all of this was accomplished without Brook Lopez, who missed his fourth straight game due to a lower back strain. The Nets plan to give an update on Lopez’s status Monday. Basically, what it all boils down to is this: either Lopez is going to have to change his game or the Nets are going to have to trade him. “I don’t know, hopefully we can,” Deron Williams responded when asked if the team can keep this up when Lopez comes back from injury. “We need to. That’s how we want to play. I think everybody understands that, when the ball’s moving around like that, it’s fun to play like that. You get into a rhythm, you feed off each other’s energy and it’s good to see.” ESPN.com

The 26-year-old is hurt right now, which hurts his trade value. He also has a $16.7 million player option for 2015-16, which he is expected to exercise. So the Nets are probably going to have to figure out how to make this work. And if Lopez coming off the bench isn’t an option, then they have to stop running their offense through him and make him an asset that makes his teammates better. Of course, that’s easier said than done. After all, the Nets don't really have the perfect big to complement Lopez, which would probably be an athletic rebounder/defender. And he's basically been the same player since he was drafted seven seasons ago. ESPN.com

December 13, 2014 Updates
December 12, 2014 Updates

Thursday was the first opportunity for Johnson to address the rumors the Nets are exploring their options in possible trades for him, Deron Williams and Brook Lopez. Not surprisingly, the mild-mannered and laid-back Johnson said he could handle the speculation without too much trouble. “This is what comes with the territory,” said Johnson, who has been dealt three times in his career — including to the Nets in July 2012. “It’s part of it. And us as players, we still have jobs to do. And that’s to come out, try to get victories and help this team be successful. We just got to stay focused with that.” New York Post

December 10, 2014 Updates
December 9, 2014 Updates

The Nets have initiated exploratory talks around the league to gauge interest on their biggest stars, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson, NBA sources confirmed. “When you are 8-11, you look at all possible options,” one league source said. “[The Nets] have explored all options at this time, which [they] are supposed to do,” another source claimed. New York Post

So, the Nets are 8-11 as they head into Chicago – with Lopez (back) and Johnson (flu) listed as out for Wednesday’s game. So they are looking at options, which is standard operating procedure for any and all teams. Sources maintained there is nothing imminent on the trade front. “After the last stretch,” one opposing executive said, “they have been very active in calling around. I think they are ready to deal but I haven’t heard of anything that’s is close to being done.” New York Post

Marc Stein: Story going online now co-scribed with @NotoriousOHM: ESPN sources say Nets have made D-Will, Brook Lopez & Joe Johnson available via trade. Twitter @ESPNSteinLine

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