Paul Pierce Says Brooklyn Nets Teammate Brook Lopez Could Be MVP Candidate

By Mike B. Ruiz
Debby Wong-USA Today Sports

Well, at least somebody thinks Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez could be a candidate for league MVP.

During Thursday’s introductory press conference for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry, Pierce made the bold prediction.

“We hope to try to take him to the next level. He can be the best center in the league – a possible MVP candidate,” said Pierce.

Fortunately for Pierce, that comment could win him that new Teammate of the Year award next season. Unfortunately for Lopez, the probability of him becoming a legitimate MVP candidate is about as realistic as Dwight Howard making a swift career decision.

At least Pierce is correct about one thing, though. Lopez could certainly be the best center in the league. He already elevated himself to the upper echelon of centers last season, averaging a career high 19.4 points and 2.1 blocks per game.

But even a jump in those numbers, which isn’t likely with the newly added depth in Brooklyn’s lineup, wouldn’t thrust Lopez into the MVP discussion. A center has to be as dynamic and game-changing as Shaquille O’Neal to be considered for the honor.

Pierce’s words won’t serve as anything more than a simple waste of breath, however. Younger players coming into their own such as Lopez could always use a little extra encouragement in order to avoid complacency. In all likelihood, that was probably Pierce’s true intention in making the statement.

But if Lopez does turn out to be that impactful and impressive next year, then Pierce can declare himself the NBA‘s official psychic.

Mike B. Ruiz is a Brooklyn Nets writer for Follow him on Twitter @mikebruiz and “Like” him on Facebook.

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