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The Nuggets are the second team to be seriously linked to Brook Lopez, after the Thunder were reportedly offering Kendrick Perkins and Jeremy Lamb for the big man in negotiations with the Nets.
Neither of these offers seems particularly strong for a former All-Star center who once averaged over 20 points per game, but that’s the issue the Nets are running into as they put Lopez on the block. They’re getting a lot of unattractive offers for a number of reasons.
Between the injuries Lopez has had and the fact that he can become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, it’s becoming clear that Brooklyn will have a hard time getting significant assets in exchange for the 26-year-old.
Lopez has a $16,744,218 player option for next year and while his next deal likely won’t pay him nearly that much per season, he may want to opt out to sign a new long-term deal this summer (especially with his injury history).
Also, because he can become a free agent this offseason, Lopez has some control over his future. If he isn’t interested in joining a specific team that’s pursuing him, he can tell them he will opt out and leave in the summer (similar to what Carmelo Anthony did when he was leaving the Nuggets and forced his way to the Knicks).
Any Nets fan expecting a blockbuster return for Lopez should temper their expectations, because these are the kind of offers that are on the table for the Nets.
This isn’t a surprise, as the Timberwolves are expected to be sellers at the trade deadline (as I covered in my latest article full of Western Conference trade rumors). Minnesota is currently 8-38, which is the worst record in the NBA, so executives are trying to acquire some of their veterans.
Stein says that the Timberwolves want a pick in return for Williams, which makes sense since they’re focusing on the future and embracing their rebuild (which they should have done last offseason, rather than bringing in a number of veterans in a naïve attempt to end their decade-long playoff drought).
Williams is averaging a respectable 12.5 points and 6.4 assists in 28.4 minutes this season for Minnesota. With Ricky Rubio going down early in the season, Williams has been asked to take on a bigger role and start 18 games.
The Cavaliers, Clippers, HEAT and (to a lesser extent) Pistons have been mentioned as “teams to watch” in the Williams sweepstakes, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN in Minneapolis.
In addition to Williams, Minnesota also has veterans Thaddeus Young, Nikola Pekovic, Kevin Martin and Chase Budinger (all of whom could be moved if the right offer presents itself). Earlier this season, the Wolves traded Corey Brewer to the Houston Rockets for Troy Daniels and two future second-round picks.
This report comes from our own Lang Greene, who spoke with Jonas Jerebko recently about a variety of topics. You can read his full interview with the Pistons forward here.
This season, Jerebko has had a somewhat limited role in Detroit. He was a starter during his rookie season with the Pistons, but over the last few years he has seen his role diminish.
Sometimes, players decide to return overseas after playing a few years in the NBA, but Jerebko shot down that possibility in his interview with Greene.
Jerebko is in the final year of his contract (making $4,500,000 this season) and he says he’s planning to sign a new NBA contract this summer when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
This year, he’s playing just 15.7 minutes per game and averaging 5.6 points and 3.2 rebounds. He’s shooting 46.6 percent from the field and 38.4 percent from three-point range.
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