The Cleveland Cavaliers have gotten the trade wheel spinning and the rest of the league is starting to fall in line. Marc Stein of ESPN came out yesterday stating that the Brooklyn Nets are possibly open to shopping Brook Lopez:
Word is that two first-round picks is the Nets’ current asking price for center Brook Lopez.
The chances that Brooklyn gets two first-round picks may be slim but they should still get good value from trading Lopez. He’s always been solid at the center position, averaging 18.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for his 8 year career. Looking at what he’s done through 32 games this year, Brook has been productive averaging 19.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.
However what has stood out about Brook Lopez and what might attract a lot more teams is his ability to stretch the floor. The three-pointer has been introduced into his game and he’s shooting them at a clip of .391%. Before this season, Brook Lopez has only attempted 31 three-pointers and he’s already at 166 attempts through the start of this season. Adopting to the current style of the NBA has made Brook Lopez even more of a threat which will make him even more valuable in the trade market.
Here’s a list of possible suitors that could benefit from adding a guy like Brook Lopez.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers acquired Timofey Mozgov during the offseason and he hasn’t made the big splash that many expected. Their biggest inside presence is Julius Randle who’s having one hell of a season and the pairing of them two could possibly work well. However, the letting go of two first-round picks may be tough for this Los Angeles team who has been doing quite well in the draft as of late.
Boston could make things interesting if they were to go for Brook Lopez. There’s been a few bumps on the road through their first 36 games but they’ve seemed to stay afloat behind great play from Isaiah Thomas. Lopez would give them another scoring option which they could use. Although they’re 8th in the league in scoring, the Celtics rely heavily on Isaiah Thomas to create opportunities. He averages a usage rate of 33.0 which is ranked 7th in the NBA. The Celtics aren’t in desperation for a guy like Brook Lopez but they would surely benefit from another scoring option.
New York Knicks
This Knicks team could use all the help they could get. They’ve lost seven out of their last ten games and they’re in dire need of some help. Defensively, Lopez playing alongside Kristaps Porzingis isn’t the most appealing on paper but it can’t get much worst than what we’ve seen from Porzingis and Joahkim Noah thus far. Brook wouldn’t be the immediate answer but he could be a start to progression in New York before those playoff hopes go awry.
I would love to see how Lopez would pan out with the Washington Wizards. They rely heavily on the production of John Wall and Bradley Beal. However, with another scoring option such as Lopez, he could immediately make this team a contender. The Wizards don’t have an inside presence outside of Wall (who leads the team in points in the paint) maneuvering his way to the basket. On the outside looking in of the playoff picture, this is a move that they should strongly consider to ruffle some feathers in the Eastern Conference.
Portland Trail Blazers
Portland may be one of the most disappointing teams this season. To some, their 5th seed and advancement to the 2nd-round of the playoffs was an over-achievement. And that assessment may be correct as they are currently struggling to hold on to the 8th seed. Change is in their future and if they look to a guy like Brook Lopez, it could possibly relinquish their season. They’ve been rumored to be looking at guys like Nerlens Noel and Tyson Chandler to act as their defensive anchor but I wouldn’t be surprised if they paid some attention to adding Lopez to their roster to take some pressure off of their dynamic backcourt.