Brook Lopez Unsure of His Future With the Nets

by January 20, 2012

Nets GM Billy King has already made it clear that it’s unlikely the team will offer big man Brook Lopez a contract extension, as they continue to angle for a possible Dwight Howard trade, and that leaves Lopez in a kind of no-man’s land. From the NY Daily News: “The 23-year-old center has had to limit his expectations this season to the immediate future. He has been rumored to be the main piece in trade offers the Nets have made to try to land superstar center Dwight Howard. Then Wednesday night, GM Billy King made it clear that the Nets w ere unlikely to extend Lopez’s rookie contract with the Jan. 25 deadline looming. King admitted Lopez’s injury had had an impact on the Nets holding off on the extension. ‘I didn’t even know there was a deadline for contracts, honestly. I knew there was a trade deadline,’ Lopez said after practice on Thursday. Even if the deadline to extend Lopez’s contract passes, it does not mean he doesn’t have a future with the Nets. He would become a restricted free agent on July 1. The Nets could still make a one-year, qualifying offer to keep him through the 2012-13 season, after which he would become a restricted free agent. That, however, is too far in Lopez’s future for him to even think about. That trade deadline, March 15 in this lockout-condensed season, has been the date looming over Lopez. So Thursday, when he was asked if he saw his future with the Nets, Lopez laughed before he answered. ‘Ha, ha, ha. For today?’ he asked. ‘I don’t know (if I’m going to be with the team in Brooklyn),’ he said. ‘I’d like to be, but there’s a lot of uncertainty, so I don’t know.’ Part of the uncertainty stems from how Lopez will return from the broken foot. The 7-footer is coming off a career-best season, when he averaged 20.4 points.”