With the Orlando Magic tabling trade talks for Dwight Howard Wednesday, the Brooklyn Nets have reportedly have agreed to terms with center Brook Lopez on a four-year, $61 million contract extension, the maximum allowed to a player of Lopez’s tenure under the collective bargaining agreement.
Lopez was widely reported as a centerpiece of any trade scenario the Nets were discussing with the Magic. Lopez was injured the majority of the 2011-2012 season, playing in only five games with averages of 19.2 ppg and 3.6 rpg. Lopez was a consistent source of post offense before being injured and averaged 20.4 ppg in 2010-2011, although he is a subpar rebounder and post defender, areas in which Howard excels. Lopez had played in every game of his career until the 2011-2012 season.
If the Nets allowed Lopez to sign an offer sheet and matched they would have lost their ability to trade him until the 2013-2014 off-season. Signing Lopez to a long-term extension all but removes the Nets from the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, for now.
Since being drafted 10th overall by the Nets in 2008, Lopez has averaged 17.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 1.6 bpg while appearing in 251 games in four seasons.