Despite all of the woes over the past decade for the Brooklyn Nets, center Brook Lopez has been one of the few constant positives for the franchise. Over the course of his career, Lopez has only won one playoff series while playing for nine different coaches.
His best shot at a winner came with the additions of Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce. But, the latter two were too far past their prime, and they never lived up to the championship aspirations that some pundits unfairly bestowed upon them.
Now, as Brooklyn goes through yet another rebuild, it makes sense for them to finally part ways with Lopez.
There are a couple of big reasons supporting this statement.
As Chip Murphy of Elite Sports NY argues, Lopez isn’t the kind of player you can build a team around in the modern NBA. Or, at least not successfully.
Lopez possesses a solid presence in the paint and a strong mid-range jumper, but superstars of the game today dominate beyond the three-point line. Brook can be a solid piece for a contender, just not its focal point.
The other big reason to deal Lopez now: the Nets’ lack of draft picks. While building that core mentioned above, Brooklyn gave up a number of first and second round selections, crippling their ability to build a roster through the draft.
By the time the Nets field a winner again, Lopez will likely be far past his prime.
Considering the Nets landed a first round pick from Indiana for Thaddeus Young, they should be able to cash in with even more picks for a player of Brook’s caliber.
So far, the Nets have avoided making a deal for Lopez with the ill-conceived notion that he’s a necessary piece for their future. The sentimental value of Brook’s presence shouldn’t be undersold for the fanbase, but the right move here is to allow Lopez to compete in another city while simultaneously accelerating their rebuilding process.
With a new front office, don’t be surprised if Lopez is moved sooner rather than later.