Dec 20, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) during the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers defeated the Nets 121-120 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Trade Rumors: Brook Lopez To The Cleveland Cavaliers?


The Brooklyn Nets’ one shot of winning an NBA championship with a roster consisting of veteran players in decline and All-Stars with contracts that could break any billionaire’s bank account fell short. After being eliminated by the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals in five games, the Nets have plenty of problems to fix this offseason and depending on how they address these issues will determine how much of a success or failure 2014-15 will be.

Part of the reason why the Nets did not live up to the high expectations set forth last summer was because of the absence of their All-Star big man, Brook Lopez . Lopez, 26, missed the remainder of this season after injuring his foot in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Dec. 20.

While there’s no question that the reason why the Nets clinched the sixth seed was because their change in strategy by playing small ball,  they still could have used Lopez’s services during their time of need in the second round. In the 17 games that the California native actually appeared in, Lopez was on course to finish with career-best averages in player efficiency (25.4) and points per game (20.7).

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Even though Lopez has an excellent ability to score, his inability to stay healthy makes him more of a liability than an asset for Brooklyn because of the fact that he hasn’t appeared in an entire season since 2010-11. He is also expected to earn $16 million next season and more than $17 million the following year, which will hurt the Nets financially for the future.

While his value may be low, by trading Lopez, the Nets would be able to acquire a couple of key assets in return, as well as decreasing their luxury tax bill significantly.

So what franchise right now has the cap space and plenty of trade pieces to give to the Nets in return for Lopez? The Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers probably have the most luck out of any NBA franchise. By having the No. 1 overall pick for the third time in four years, Cleveland has an opportunity to pair up either Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins from Kansas or fellow Duke product Jabari Parker with Kyrie Irving to form a young, talented one-two punch. While the team may back out of the option of selecting Embiid with the first pick because of issues with his back, the Jayhawk would still address their need of a center that can control the paint defensively and offensively.

But if the concerns of his health is enough for the Cavaliers to go another route in order to find a talented big man that can gel with Irving, then trading for someone like Lopez is a realistic possibility.

In an interview with 92.3 the Fan in Cleveland, Fox Sports Ohio’s Sam Amico reported that while bringing in either Kevin Love or Demarcus Cousins is possible, Lopez is also an option.

Kevin Love is out there, but Amico throws out a couple of different names. Sam said he believes Sacramento is always willing to look at options for moving Demarcus Cousins and that big man Brooke Lopez could also be an option.

There are huge differences with both Love and Cousins in contrast to Lopez. For instance, Lopez isn’t the player that the Nets are hoping to build around for the future, like the Sacramento Kings are with Cousins. Also, Love has been generating interest from multiple franchises so the asking price for Lopez may be much lower than Love. Still, when healthy, Lopez is major threat offensively and will be able to greatly improve his ability to be a machine underneath the rim defensively .

It’ll be interesting to see who Cleveland will give up along with the No. 1 pick in exchange for Lopez. Possible names include Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varejao and Anthony Bennett, who was the No. 1 pick in last year’s NBA draft. 

The advantage of bringing in Lopez would also attract multiple highly regarded free agents that want to form the newest “Big Three.” Who knows? It may even convince LeBron James to head back to Cleveland next season.

Tags: Brook Lopez Brooklyn Nets

  • Mercy2000

    Lebron ain’t coming back. I’d love it if he did, but it isn’t happening. So we need to move on and look at other options for building a winner, like Lopez.

    • Caleones

      Trading the #1 pick for a player like Lopez who has played an average of 32 games the last three seasons is not worth it. Cavs have needs at SF. Draft Wiggins.

      • Mercy2000

        Just to be clear I wasn’t suggesting that the Cavs should give up the 1st pick for Lopez. That would be beyond the usual brand of Cavaliers stupid. However I would be willing to give up the pick for Kevin Love if he would sign a five year deal first.

  • pihc

    It’s absolutely insane to think the Cavs would give away the #1 for Lopez who spends his career on the bench, but then to add insult to injury (pun intended) the names of others along with the #1 pick is included. If they were to give away the #1 pick in what looks like the best draft since 2003 AND!!! other players would absolutely destroy Cleveland’s chance at ever improving.

  • pihc

    In fact, I wouldn’t trade straight up any of the players named in this article for Lopez. Who is drinking this Lopez cool aide?

  • http://hoopshabit.com Zach Libby

    So you wouldn’t trade for a big man that has already established himself as a pure scorer and has appeared in an All-Star game? That’s why I wrote this article, I’d rather acquire a veteran than a player in Embiid that has health issues.

    • Caleones

      And Brooke Lopez doesn’t have health issues? Yes, he’s played 82 games his first three seasons. But the three years after that? 5, 74, 17. He’s almost lost two of the last three seasons due to injuries. And that’s the person you want to trade the #1 pick for?
      Embiid isn’t the only option for the Cavs. They need a SF (there is no guarantee Lebron will go back to the CAVS). Small Forward is a position of need and pairing a player like Wiggins who has the potential to be great offensively AND defensively makes more sense than trading for an injury prone player like Lopez. (And don’t even get me started about you including a second player along with the #1 pick on the trade.)

  • Bill Driscoll

    Zach, what are you smoking. Why would CLE give up the #1 pick for Lopez I could see them trade Varejao and a future pick but not this years pick.
    So funny thanks for the laugh

  • Rick Stephenson Wendycitywirel

    if they make I would just become a Miami bandwagon fan. why do they think everything is a joke in Cleveland that’s why LeBron left in the first place an they think bring in lopez or love in will bring him home there crazy keep there pick and try to get the second or the third . or put wiggings an irving in the back court and get I center in fa love is aready back stabbing the team he is on why do we want players like that.Dan needs to fire the gm we are so tire of dumb rumors we suffer enogh.

  • Guest

    This is such a stupid article I really don’t know were to start. People always want to give cleveland the trash players and send the good one’s away. Why write and article like one we would be better off keeping or trying to keep Hawes.

  • Leonard Goines

    People are alway trying to give Cleveland the trash players and send the good ones away. Such a stupid article.

  • Jason Schlosser

    This is the least likely option for the Cavaliers. Do you REALLY think the Cavs are going to send #1 and other assets for Brook Lopez, who has done nothing? In other words, Wiggins, Waiters and one other. This will NEVER happen.

  • Christian Londoño

    What do u think of trading the 1 for magics 4 and 10 and then the 10 for Lopez and take on a bad contract?

  • Bart

    Pathetic article, this is just absolute drivel. The thought of trading this year’s number 1 for Lopez is just flat out risible, but then to suggest that Cleveland would have to throw in additional pieces is completely asinine. Someone needs to get Zach (the author of this bird cage waste collector) a crowbar and a shoehorn so he can dislodge his head from his anal cavity, as he obviously isn’t getting enough oxygen to his brain to think clearly!

    • Jason Schlosser

      LOL!

    • marv

      Man you right what was he smoking when he wrote this lol

  • TheSportologist

    You just said “Even though Lopez has an excellent ability to score, his inability to stay healthy makes him more of a liability than an asset for Brooklyn because of the fact that he hasn’t appeared in an entire season since 2010-11.” WHY oh WHY would the Cavs pass on Embid for health concerns and trade for a guy with not health concerns but actually a health reality! He’s a talented guy but just like Kevin Love he can’t stay healthy so actually I’m afraid of both Love and Lopez and Embid

  • Kamal

    Lebron’s never comming back to cleveland! lets end it at that!!!

  • Donovan McNabb

    In all my years of reading sports related articles I’ve never seen a more accurate and hilarious comment than “Bart”. This article is the definition of blasphemous. If the world explorer searching for the Fountain of Youth happened to stumble across this article, he would likely name it the Fountain of Arrogance or more likely the Fountain of The Work of an Absolute Idiot. The fact that you suggest the Cavs trading the 1st overall pick AS WELL as other assets for Brook Lopez is beyond laughable in every sense of the word. Lopez is more prone to injury than Greg Oden getting a hammer taken to his knees 10,000 times. The fact that you suggest that the Cavs have had more luck than any other NBA franchise is also a disgrace of the highest order. They were spurned by arguably the greatest athlete to transcend this green earth and then got the 1st overall pick in arguably the most sour draft of all time. Feel free to respond Mr. Zachary Libby, you are a bum

  • Mike

    Ridiculous! Why would you even give up the 1st pick alone for an injury prone big? I stop reading when you said “it will be interesting to see who Cleveland would give up along with the 1st pick.” No knowledge!

  • Scott

    I know now to stay clear of FANSIDED. Were all the other columnists on vacation that an 18 year old kid who isn’t even in college yet is writing for them? To take on a monster contract that Lopez has, Brooklyn would have to beg somebody to take him. And I’m just certain that Lebron is saying to himself “If the Cavs get Lopez, I’m there!” The 1st pick AND additional pieces? What are you smokin’ Zach Libby? If nothing….maybe you should start! HORRIBLE article. 3 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

  • joey c

    dumbest thing I have ever read.

  • Rich Ragnanese

    Does anybody outside this moron who wrote this article honestly believe Cleveland would give up the number pick plus give Dion and Tristan for Lopez?

  • Chris

    In what world would the cavs trade the #1 pick in this years draft…..for lopez. Brook lopez isn’t worth trading dion waters for. What are you smoking?

  • Andrew Dennis

    Couldn’t agree more with the last statement. Who is the clown that wrote this? Really. … Brook Lopez. I wouldn’t give up the # 1 overall by itself for Lopez, let alone the # 1 overall AND another young piece. If anything, I’d be asking for a future # 1 of the Nets, if I gave up that # 1 overall.

  • marv

    U shouldn’t even be an sports writer or whatever u are! But listen Why would Cleveland give up the first pick n the draft plus a young good player for brook Lopez ??? Who is more injury pron then joel embiid!! They can just trade back n get embiid an keep waiters or any other young player or just draft him number 1…can’t believe u said this the number 1 pick plus a good young player for brook Lopez lol u need to think about that again in write this over