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Nets reject Nuggets’ trade offer for Brook Lopez

Photo Credit: SportingNews.com

Photo Credit: SportingNews.com

It’s no secret that Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez is on the trading block. In early January, the Nets and Oklahoma City Thunder were linked in trade talks, and those discussions grew to include the Charlotte Hornets. Names like Lance Stephenson and Kendrick Perkins were bandied about in the talks, but ultimately, no deal was consummated.

Even though there was no trade then, there’s still time for a deal to get done in advance of the Feb. 19 trade deadline, and it seems like Brooklyn is dead set on moving Lopez. The latest talks have been with the Denver Nuggets, but the Nets have turned down the Nuggets’ latest proposal, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.

That proposal included JaVale McGee, J.J. Hickson and a first-round pick. The pick was one of the two acquired in the Timofey Mozgov deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It makes perfect sense that Brooklyn rejected this trade, because that return isn’t very appealing. McGee has been hurt most of the last two years and has been underwhelming when he has been on the court. Throw in his $12 million salary for next season, and that’s not an attractive player to take on. Perhaps the Nets would try and flip McGee as an expiring contract, but there likely would be little value coming back.

Hickson is a decent bench piece, but he’s not anything to get excited about. The first-round pick would be the real prize, however, it’s not valuable enough to also take on the combination of McGee and Hickson. Brooklyn isn’t going to just trade Lopez, a very productive player when healthy, for anything.

While it made sense for the Nets to turn this down, the deal didn’t make much sense to begin with from the Nuggets’ standpoint. Lopez is a good player, but Denver just traded away a quality center in Mozgov on a cheaper contract, so it would be strange to then go ahead and acquire a high salary guy with an extensive injury history at the same position. The Nuggets also have an emerging young center in Jusuf Nurkic on the roster, and bringing in Lopez to take away minutes from Nurkic wouldn’t be ideal.

The thinking may simply have been related to a desire to get McGee off the roster. Denver made a huge mistake giving McGee a four-year, $44 million deal several years back, and it now appears the Nuggets may be willing to consider anything in order to ship him out.

But again, the Nets seem to have no interest in that type of deal because they feel they can get more for Lopez, who has once again been productive. The 26-year-old is averaging 15.3 points and 6.2 rebounds on the season, and he just put up 35 points and 12 rebounds in a tough loss against the Toronto Raptors.

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