Wednesday, January 18, 2012
GM: Brook Lopez extension unlikely
By Mike Mazzeo
Special to ESPNNewYork.com
NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Nets have yet to offer a contract extension to center Brook Lopez and are unlikely to do so before the Jan. 25 extension deadline for players drafted in 2008, according to general manager Billy King.
"I'm sure I'll have a conversation with his agent [Arn Tellem]," King told reporters before Wednesday night's game against the Golden State Warriors. "But I don't know if we'll do anything with him at this point. I think you just have to wait. They may throw a number at you that makes sense."
Lopez, who remains out with a fractured foot, is in the last year of his rookie contract and will make roughly $3.1 million this season. He'll be a restricted free agent on July 1 and if the Nets extend a one-year, $4.2 million qualifying offer for the 2012-13 season Lopez would then become an unrestricted free agent in 2013-14.
The 23-year-old Lopez, who was coming off a season in which he averaged a career-best 20.4 points per game, could have been a candidate for an extension if he was healthy. However, Lopez fractured his foot in the team's final preseason game against the New York Knicks and had surgery two days later Dec. 23. At the time, Lopez was expected to miss six-to-eight weeks.
"The injury has had an impact on it," King said.
Lopez isn't wearing a boot anymore and was doing some standstill shooting Wednesday.
"That's a positive," said King, who added that Lopez's rehab remains on schedule.
Before the injury, sources told ESPN.com that Lopez had been the centerpiece of a blockbuster three-team trade that would have landed Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard in New Jersey.
Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.