The Nets’ decision not to extend a contract offer to center Brook Lopez didn’t come as a surprise to anyone who had paid even a modicum of attention, but Lopez let it be known that he was hurt by the team’s decision (which largely hinges on their pursuit of Dwight Howard.) Per the NY Post: “Brook Lopez would have preferred to be involved in any discussions that led to the Nets’ decision not to extend his contract. ‘It does include me,’ Lopez said with a shrug after the Nets made official yesterday what they had indicated for some time — they did not extend the fourth-season center while also not picking up the third year option on Damion James, moves intended to keep as much cap space as possible for a free agent run at Dwight Howard. ‘I understand it I suppose from a business standpoint,’ Lopez said before the Nets’ 97-90 overtime victory over the 76ers last night. ‘But yeah, I think it’s disappointing because I’d like to be here.’ Lopez and James are recovering from right foot surgery. Lopez broke his foot in preseason, James on Tuesday underwent surgery for the replacement of a screw inserted when he broke the foot last year. So injuries and cap space flexibility played a key role. Lopez will become a restricted free agent. James will be unrestricted. ‘We’re not going to do anything with either one of them. The injuries played a part. That played a big part of it. And it was for the flexibility, too,’ general manager Billy King said earlier in the day. ‘I just think at the time, the flexibility, the injury I’d rather look at doing it [Lopez] this summer. … We’ve got first right of refusal. I’m sure [agent] Arn [Tellem] and I will talk very quickly July 1.’”
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