The Brooklyn Nets were foolish to sign Brook Lopez to a four-year, $66 million deal last summer and now they’re having to deal with the consequences. They collected all these big names who seemed to gel so quickly at the beginning of their first season, but one problem remained: Lopez on the defensive end of the floor.
At the beginning of the season, the revamped Nets killed it in their new palace behind Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Andray Blatche, Reggie Evans and even Jerry Stackhouse. (We didn’t know he was still playing, either).
However, Lopez wasn’t carrying his weight and he still isn’t. Throughout his entire career, Lopez’s primary problem has been on the defensive end of the floor, and more specifically defensive rebounding. The bigger problem is he’s still not improving that part of his game and is actually getting worse.
The Nets are currently two and a half games behind the New York Knicks in the Atlantic Division, and are very likely to get a decent seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, but Nets fans don’t just want their team to make the playoffs–they want to win a title. The best way to do that would have been to find a new center who plays lights out defense, but the Nets decided to stick with Lopez, which they’re now realizing (albeit way too late) that was a mistake.
Lopez is averaging less than five defensive rebounds per game, which is inexcusable for a guy who’s making an average of $16.5 million per year. Again, the Nets made a mistake and now they know it. The question all Brooklyn fans want to know now is this: what are the Nets going to do now?