NBA Rumor: Brook Lopez Free Agency

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Brook Lopez is entering the last year of his contract, and Milwaukee can extend him for four additional seasons and up to $74.7 million (a starting salary of $16.7 million in the first year). The veteran missed 69 games this season recovering from back surgery. Lopez continues to be a presence on the defensive end. Per Second Spectrum, he allowed opponents to shoot 48.8% in the restricted area when contesting shots as the closest defender over the past two seasons. That is the second lowest behind Jaren Jackson Jr. The projection for Lopez on an extension is two years, $20 million.

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3 years ago via ESPN

The Kings are interested in adding a center this offseason, and there’s space for them to do it even with re-signing Harrison Barnes. It would require them to move on from Willie Cauley-Stein, who wants that anyway, as his agent has asked the Kings to let him go. They’d potentially have the room to make an aggressive offer to Horford, but they have a number of the top centers on their list, sources said. In addition to Horford, the Kings could chase Brook Lopez and Nikola Vucevic. Lopez played for coach Luke Walton with the Lakers.

The Bucks have a quandary in the frontcourt with the possibility that big man Brook Lopez was so productive this season that he played himself out of Milwaukee’s price range. We’ll dust off an old Badger favorite as a possibility to help replace him: former Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky. Kaminsky was on the outs for most of the season in Charlotte, and according to sources, the Bucks attempted to trade for him at the deadline but were turned down and eventually acquired Nikola Mirotic. As free agency approaches, expect Milwaukee to have Kaminsky as an option again should the Bucks lose Lopez.

Bledsoe is one of four Bucks’ starters who figure to be free agents this summer, the others being Khris Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon and Brook Lopez. Like Bledsoe, the aforementioned trio of Bucks are all bound for pay raises. “It might have happened before but I don’t ever recall a team having four starting players hitting the free agent market in one summer,’’ a longtime NBA executive said. “I don’t know how they’re going to handle this; I know they’re struggling with it, too.’’

Nets keeping Lopez, Young

The Brooklyn Nets are finalizing agreements with free agents Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Lopez, 27, will receive a three-year, $60 million maximum contract that includes some protections for the Nets should a recurrence of Lopez’s past foot issues sideline him again, sources said. The deal is expected to incude a player option after the second season, which would allow him to re-enter free agency once new television money raises the salary cap.

Lopez is likely seeking a three-year, $60 million maximum contract extension, league sources said. The Nets are planning to pay the 7-footer that full market value, although an agreement could include some financial protections for the Nets should a recurrence of Lopez’s past foot issues sideline him again, sources said. Lopez, 27, could do a deal that includes a player option for the third year, which would allow him to re-enter free agency after the maximum contract salaries elevate with the flow of new television money.
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July 1, 2022 | 2:47 am EDT Update

Bulls among the teams calling about Kevin Durant

When the two-time NBA Finals MVP made it known he wanted to be traded out of Brooklyn, expected business quickly fell by the wayside as teams tried to reposition themselves to at least make an offer. According to a source, the Bulls were a part of those phone calls, despite Durant reportedly having the Heat and Suns among his desired destinations — and despite the reality that the Bulls don’t have the type of high-profile player or quality of draft picks the Nets were looking for in a trade package.
Phoenix has the kinds of players who might make this a win-win for all involved — namely, Suns small forward Mikal Bridges and restricted free agent center DeAndre Ayton. In the days before Irving’s choice to opt-in, sources close to Ayton had raised this possibility of an Ayton-Bridges deal being very much on their radar. At that time, however, it was unclear whether Durant was going to ask out.
Beck: I asked a well-connected NBA source which teams, other than the increasingly desperate Lakers, would be willing to acquire Irving. His answer: “None.” I think I agree. The league has seen Irving wreak a lot of havoc over the last five years, from Cleveland to Boston to Brooklyn. It’s left an impression. But the Lakers badly need another scorer/playmaker next to LeBron and AD, and Irving is an infinitely better fit than Russell Westbrook.