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Nets now negotiating new deal with Lopez. Just in case.

Jul 10, 2012, 4:22 PM EDT

Brook Lopez AP

The Brooklyn Nets may be left without Dwight Howard. It’s in flux. Which is putting it very kindly.

What the Nets don’t want is to be left with nothing.

So they have picked up the pace in talks with their own free agents — Brook Lopez and Kris Humphriesreports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The Nets have been engaged with Lopez’s representatives on a maximum contract extension, and if they feel like the possibility of acquiring Howard is slipping away, they’ll likely move to complete a deal with the restricted free agent in the next few days.

A max deal is overpaying for Lopez. Plain and simple. He’s good offensively when healthy — he averaged 19.2 points per game on 49 percent shooting and he can step out and stretch a defense, hitting 41 percent of his shots from beyond 16 feet last season. However, he’s a below average rebounder for the position and his defense needs work. He’s a young big who can score, he’s going to get paid, but a max is too much from where I sit.

The Nets also are negotiating with Humphries, Damion James and Shelden Williams.

Negotiations alert: If I were trying to light a fire under the Magic (or other teams in the trade mix) this is exactly what I would leak if I were the Nets.

That doesn’t make it any less real. Deron Williams is good with this, emphasizing again before Team USA’s practice in Las Vegas Tuesday that he is happy with the Nets as constructed and if they bring back Lopez he believes they can do a lot of damage in the East. He wouldn’t play the Dwight Howard speculation game.

The Magic are still trying to work a deal with the Nets, but Cleveland has pulled out and unless they can find a third team to replace them (the Bobcats are rumored but that is a hard sell) the two teams would have to figure out a straight up deal. And they haven’t been able to do that for a year now.

  1. minnesotablizzard - Jul 10, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Who cares the Twolves just signed the Russian wing player/PG. All of the international talent wants to play with Pekovic and Rubio. Now just to get Batum tonight to seal the deal on the most internationally diverse and whitest team in the league aka the up and coming Spurs 2.0, Minnesota Timberwolves.

    • gmen4life33 - Jul 10, 2012 at 4:44 PM

      1) Know the players name if you want to post about him. I am sure the Russian wing player/PG is amazing, so amazing you dont know his name.

      2) POR has made it pretty clear they are going to match Batum, so there wont be any sealing of that deal.

      3) Spurs 2.0? Rubio is very entertaining, and Love is a beast, but you guys are closer to Hawks 2.0 then Spurs 2.0.

      • ewyorksockexchange - Jul 10, 2012 at 5:48 PM

        Hawks 2.0, if Love doesn’t bail. Which will be tough because he’s publicly said he wants out.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Jul 10, 2012 at 4:46 PM

      Not if the Blazers have anything to do with it, Batum won’t.

      • minnesotablizzard - Jul 10, 2012 at 5:11 PM

        We are going to get Batum in a sign and trade. Portland’s GM doesnt want to pay him that kind of money. Probably will get Ridnour and maybe even D-Will in return.

    • lightskin350 - Jul 10, 2012 at 7:01 PM

      If you are hoping that the Wolves will be getting Nicolas Batum you can think again. There is no way the Blazers are going to trade their second best player to Kahn and the Wolves.
      They don’t even have the cap space to sign Batum unless they buy out Webster and amnesty Darko.
      Kahn needs to worry about keeping Kevin Love happy before he bails on the Wolves and they go back to the ice age where they draft 6 PG in one draft again.

  2. Mr. Wright 212 - Jul 10, 2012 at 4:39 PM


  3. blueintown - Jul 10, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    The Brooklyn Nets see your media leak to pressure a deal, and raise you one media leak to pressure a deal. Your move, Orlando.

  4. baron30 - Jul 10, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    I actually like the Nets squad without D12.

    D-Will, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Kris Hump, and Lopez…that’s is a solid starting 5….

    Brooks off the bench, and a young player w. potential in Tyshawn Taylor.

    re-sign Gerald Green maybe bring in a guy like AK-47 and a couple other pieces,

    • baron30 - Jul 10, 2012 at 5:08 PM

      also not gutting your draft picks helps

    • lightskin350 - Jul 10, 2012 at 7:05 PM

      How are the Nets able to pay all of these players big money. Williams and Joe Johnson are making about 40 million between the both of them. They signed Wallace for another 10 million a year and now they are wanting to give Brook Lopez a max deal of roughly what………another 15 million not counting the Hump who will get about 8-10 million.

    • norcal031 - Jul 10, 2012 at 7:25 PM

      If they can find a pf to do Lopez’s dirty work down low like a Iblaka or someone they would be legit.

      • cmehustle - Jul 10, 2012 at 9:00 PM

        Or we can sign the one we already have Hump.

  5. saintsfan83 - Jul 10, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    If you are in the West u shouldn’t care if the deal goes thru let the super teams in the east kill theirselvesn Only one eastern team can advance to the finals wore out from the grind so hey get the deal done my Hornets need 3 to 5 years to get ready anyway so i knw i don’t want to see the Heat and their bandwagon fans enjoy 5 more championships Go Nets!!! Lmao!!!

  6. cantonbound13 - Jul 10, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Keep Lopez. Howard’s back problems are scary.

    • BigBeachBall - Jul 11, 2012 at 3:13 AM

      D12 is this generation’s SHAQ, quit acting like you’d rather have brook lopez…. it’s ridiculousness.

  7. genericcommenter - Jul 10, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    If he were deserving of a Max contract, they wouldn’t be so desperate to trade him for an upgrade. Seriously, there are so few real stars and elite level players- that it would be impossible to trade a true elite player for any significant upgrade at the same position.

  8. rotaylla - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    This Nets team is good as they are with brook Lopez as centre..if they get Howard all well and good and if not we,ll wait till next year..any team that takes on Howard now believe me the GM of that franchise will be out of J O B by this time of next season.. .A word is enough for the Wise….shikena.

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