| 07-10-2012, 10:14 PM||away - #142|
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Take your losses Lopez getting Max.
Nets near contract agreement with Brook Lopez
26 minutes ago
Restricted free-agent center Brook Lopez is progressing toward an agreement for a maximum contract with the Brooklyn Nets, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Brook Lopez played in only five games last season for the Nets. (AP)
Nets president Billy King and Lopez’s agent, Arn Tellem, are finalizing the length of the deal – four years for $58 million, or five years for $78 million – and ironing out protections on the back end to account for a right foot that Lopez broke twice in the past year, sources said.
King is scheduled to travel to Los Angeles on Wednesday to work on completing the deal with Tellem.
Brooklyn needs Lopez as the centerpiece of a sign-and-trade deal to acquire Orlando’s Dwight Howard, but is running out of time waiting for the Magic to make a decision on where they want to trade him, sources said. The Nets need to add four free agents into a deal for Howard, and convincing all of them to be a part of a complicated sign-and-trade deal much beyond Wednesday’s end to the league’s moratorium on transactions becomes increasingly more unrealistic every day.
Once Lopez signs the deal, he can’t be traded until December.
Orlando has refocused its trade talks for Howard with the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets, and the Nets are starting to believe that Magic general manager Rob Hennigan simply wants to do a deal elsewhere, sources said. Clearly, the Nets are pushing hard on Lopez’s deal to apply pressure to Orlando, but there’s nothing left for them to offer Orlando that they haven’t already made available to them.
The Nets are offering the Magic three first-round picks, and a fourth that it believes it can gain upon moving guard MarShon Brooks in a trade, sources said.
The Houston Rockets were aggressively shopping players on Tuesday, including forward Luis Scola, in an attempt to create more salary-cap space and gain another first-round pick to fulfill Orlando’s wants for a Howard deal, sources said.
The Charlotte Bobcats had expressed interest with signing Lopez to a max offer sheet, but it was pointless for the center once the Nets were committed to giving him most of that five-year deal fully guaranteed. Another team could only sign Lopez to a four-year deal. The Nets have always planned to match any offer for Lopez.
After not missing a game in his first three NBA seasons, Lopez played only five last season after breaking his foot twice. Nevertheless, doctors have fully cleared him to return for the start of training camp.