One of the players constantly involved in trade rumors lately is Book Lopez. The Brooklyn Nets center is having one of his best seasons in the NBA this year and has remained healthy which is working to the team’s advantage in looking for potential trade partners.
With the Nets already guaranteed a losing campaign and barring an unlikely extended winning streak will not be making the playoffs, the team is looking forward to rebuilding by collecting as many assets as they could get. With that said, it has been reported that the team is indeed making Lopez available in the market but have placed an expensive price tag for his services.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Nets want two first round picks in exchange for the former All-Star center. It may seem like a steep price to ask, but he is their best player and his addition to any lineup greatly boosts that team’s chances. The Nets have no reason to tank as their first rounder in June is owned by the Boston Celtics, which makes it easier to understand why they will opt to move Lopez instead.
However, even if the 28-year-old Stanford product is averaging 20.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.7 steals per game this year, there are still some factors which makes it difficult for a team to give up first rounders for his services.
Lopez has a long history of injuries and has not played an entire 82-game season since 2012. Although he has played at least 72 games the past two years, he will also turn 30 once his current contract expires in 2018. The Nets understand the situation and feel that this is the best time for them to part ways with Lopez before his value depreciates.
It will certainly be interesting to see how things will unfold for the Nets and Lopez. With less than two weeks before the trade deadline, Brooklyn will be placed in a tough situation if no team answers their call. If that happens, the Nets will need to decide if they will settle for a lower offer or continue to gamble and build around him in the next few seasons.