Brooklyn Nets News: Brook Lopez Opts Out


Friday evening, reports came out that Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez has opted-out of his current contract, and is now an unrestricted free agent. This was widely expected, and the Nets are believed to be the frontrunners to re-sign him.

After trading away Mason Plumlee during Thursday’s NBA Draft, the Nets determined that Thaddeus Young and Lopez fit together better and would be more effective for the team going forward. Young too, has opted out of his deal and is seeking a new contract. The Nets remain favorites to re-sign both, and the key to next season relies on having both return.

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Last season, Lopez remained healthy and averaged 17.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game (in 72 games). Health was the major concern with him, and he proved that his foot injury is no longer a nagging problem. Young, acquired mid-season, averaged 13.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game in 28 games after coming over from the Timberwolves. Both Lopez and Young formed a dynamic front-court for the Nets and were able to sneak the team into a playoff berth.

Regarding contracts, Lopez declined a $17 million option whereas Young declined a $10 million option. Both are seeking long-term security and the Nets are capable of granting those wishes. Having their Bird rights is also an advantage, as they are able to offer more than other teams can. The Milwaukee Bucks have shown interest in signing Lopez, but I believe he will re-sign because he has publicly stated that his goal is to retire as a Net and wants to be here.

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On July 1, both players need to realize that the cards are in their hands. Both Lopez and Young have the upper hand due to the team’s inability to sign other big name free agents due to cap space. Lopez has constantly been the subject of trade rumors during his tenure, so he should demand a no-trade clause in order to re-sign.

The Nets will likely be seeking insurance provisions in case of another foot injury, but Lopez has shown that his previously injured foot is not affecting him. Retaining both players remains the top priority for the Nets and their decisions will dramatically affect the future of this team. With the loss of Plumlee, there is an even bigger need to keep both players, and we will find out soon enough whether they will stay or go.

Next: How did the Nets do in the Draft?

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