Nets sign Lopez to max extension, end pursuit of Howard
The Brooklyn Nets have agreed to terms with centre Brook Lopez on a four-year maximum contract extension worth $60 million, according to ESPN.
The 24-year-old participated in just five games last season after injuring his right foot on two separate occasions. He has averaged 17.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in his four-year career.
Citing a "league source," the report also states that the re-signing of Lopez ends Brooklyn's pursuit of Dwight Howard. Lopez was supposed to be the key component of a sign-and-trade deal between the Nets and Magic to land Howard in Brooklyn, but once Lopez's extension is officially signed, he cannot be traded until January 15, under the rules of the NBA's collective bargaining agreement.
The Nets also re-signed point guard Deron Williams to a maximum contract extension, re-signed small forward Gerald Wallace to a four-year, $40 million contract, and traded for guard Joe Johnson, who is set to earn maximum dollars over the next four years. As presently constructed, the Nets would not be able to sign Howard outright when he becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer due to the NBA's salary cap, and so trading for the All Star big man is the only viable option.
That option seems to be temporarily suspended, however.