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It’s decision time in Brooklyn — do they re-sign Lopez now?

Jul 11, 2012, 10:22 AM EDT

New Jersey Nets v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

If the Dwight Howard trade comes down in the next 24 to 48 hours it is because of this — everybody had to move on with their “Plan B” if Howard wasn’t coming.

Nowhere is that more evident than Brooklyn.

The Nets have been Howard’s preferred destination and the franchise has spent the better part of a year trying to come up with deals to land him. The most recent was maybe the closest — a four-team deal that had 11 players plus four picks flying around. But that deal collapsed under its own weight when Cleveland pulled out.

Now the Nets face a choice, is it time to move on? Is it time to say Brook Lopez is their guy? Stephen Bondy laid it out at the New York Daily News.

If Lopez re-signs with the Nets and doesn’t agree to a sign and trade, it would kill any deal for Howard until at least Dec. 15 (when players can be traded after signing contracts in the offseason), or maybe forever (if Howard is dealt elsewhere).

So as the clock ticks on this never-ending saga — and while separate trade proposals involving the Rockets and Lakers were gaining traction — the Magic was being forced to take a harder look at their 7-foot question: is Lopez, a strong offensive player with a limited presence in the paint, worth taking the leap for?

Not at the max deal reportedly being discussed, if you ask me. Lopez can score around the basket and has a nice midrange touch — his offensive game has never been in question. But he doesn’t rebound well for his position and is not a shot-blocking help defender like the Nets need. He’s good, he’s just not a max guy, to me.

But the Nets are reportedly working to get insurance (Lopez missed much of last season with a foot issue) on a max deal. Once that offer goes on the table and he signs it, it may forever kill the Dwight Howard plan.

  1. mnskolvikes - Jul 11, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Who cares.

    • raidmagic - Jul 11, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      Ummm everyone that roots for a team that has something to do with dwight howard

  2. jolink653 - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    It would be stupid for the Nets to give this guy a max deal…Is he good? Yeah he’s a good young player who can score and give you some effort on the defensive side of the ball but he has injury problems and he’s definitely not a dominant center and not someone you give a max deal to

  3. shoestorm - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Who cares +1

  4. kingjeremi84 - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    there just doing this to get the magic to budge,there arent gonna sign him untill dh gets traded in either a sign in trade for dh or becuse they couldnt get dh.just a ploy to scare the magic into making a deal in a hurry

  5. redblue560 - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Both have health concerns… Howard with his back and Lopez with his foot. ( remember Yao Ming )

  6. majorhavoc83 - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    You know…part of me thinks the Nets should re-sign their key players and just wait it out until next season. Then they get get Dwight from the open market and not deal with all the multi-team trade headaches.

    • dadawg77 - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      The NBA cap won’t allow Nets to pick Howard up in the FA Market and the Magic won’t sign and trade Howard for same people they won’t trade for now.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:53 PM

      The only way they can acquire him is via trade. They do not have the cap space to sign him outright next summer. Offering Lopez the contract was done to set the money parameters regarding the other players involved. This would force Howard to sign an offer sheet with Orlando and entice Magic to trade straight up, so that Brooklyn can hold on to the other players in the deal.

      • majorhavoc83 - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:48 PM

        Thanks for the clarification, guys!

  7. baron30 - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    just sign Lopez and re-up Kris Humphries. Btwn Lopez scoring and Humphries automatic double doubles (13 and 11 last season; 10 and 10 in 2010) the Nets will be in fine shape to compete for the top 2 or 3 spots in the east.

    Sure Dwight brings amazing defensive presence but he also comes with a superstar mentality that will demand touches and plays ran through him which will be harder to come by w/ D will and JJ–something that will not be required w/ Lopez.

    Plus the team will not be void of draft picks and full of nobodies to round out the roster.

    • dadawg77 - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      Without Howard the Nets are the Hawks. Will battle for 4-5 spot, maybe higher depending on Rose’s health and when Boston blows it up. But they will be stuck in NBA Hell, good enough not to get lottery picks but not good enough to taste the promise land.

      Here’s what will happen Chicago will match Houston’s offer sheet to Asik. Then Houston or someone else will make an offer to Lopez, which effectively kills the Nets chase of Howard. One reason Houston will make an offer to Lopez is to kill the Net/Magic deal which makes Houston the ideal trading partner for the Magic assuming the Magic will look for reset.

  8. wizahdry - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Lopez getting a max deal is a joke! So every starting center in the league is now a max guy? Brooke and R Hibbert are pretty good… but not that great. The NBA cried poor during the lockout that most of the teams weren’t turning a profit…but they are still being irresponsible and overpaying marginal players. Look at what Jeremy Lin got for putting together 6 weeks of decent play…that nobody would have noticed if it wasn’t in N.Y.

    The NBA is getting more screwed up and in 5 years there will be maybe 5-8 profitable teams, and eventually there will be contraction. They need to follow the NFL example and come up with a real system that keeps the superstars spread out, while keeping mediocre players from getting over paid.

  9. davidly - Jul 11, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Come on, Kurt! Cut the cool sports-guy talk: Does the “do” in the post title mean “will” our “should”?

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