The Nets have reportedly entered into contract talks with their own Brook Lopez.
Hoopsvibe Very Quick Call: It's now or never for Dwight Howard to Brooklyn Nets deal.
Lopez, a restricted free agent, is reportedly talking to the Nets about a max deal; either 4 years for $58 million or 5 years for $78 million. The other thing to consider is that if another team puts in an offer to Lopez, he can't be part of a trade to another team. Also, if he doesn't agree to a sign and trade it would stop a deal for Howard until December 15th, because that is when players who signed with teams in the offseason can be traded.
Believe it or not, the Howard to Nets saga has been going on for about a year now. If it doesn't go down now, how awkward would it be for him to spend the season in Orlando? Speaking of awkward, if the Nets are forced to rely on their own "in-house" guy in Lopez, would that make things weird and screw up chemistry? Either way the Nets need a back-up plan in case they don't actually trade for Howard, and Lopez is it.
But how much worse would that be? Or, would it even be bad at all? We all know Lopez missed all but five games last season due to a foot injury, which is never what you want to have your big man suffer through (see Rik Smits, Yao Ming). But when healthy, Lopez has produced, with career averages of 17.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 1.6 bpg. But obviously, Lopez is nowhere close to the defensive player Howard is, or the rebounder. But he is a solid big man.
The other question is, if the Nets do actually get Howard, are their enough basketballs to go around to keep everyone happy? Joe Johnson has to shoot a lot to be productive. Deron Williams likes to score as much as any PG in the league. Gerald Wallace likes to score. Howard needs to be the center of attention at all times, so even though he's saying he wants to go to the Nets, could he even handle being an after thought on the offensive side? How long would it take for him to complain about that?
If Dwight Howard going to the Nets has any chance of happening, it's going to have to happen NOW.