Brook Lopez Trade Rumors Tracker: Recapping the Latest Buzz

Michael DulkaContributor IFebruary 4, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 23: Brook Lopez #11 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles the ball against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Barclays Center on November 23, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Despite playing up to the level of his massive contract, Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez continues to be a possible trade piece for the Nets.  

Playing through trade rumors, Lopez is having a great season this year for the Nets.  Through 40 games, Lopez is averaging 18.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. He's been one of the best centers this season as he's outplayed expectations and opponents on a nightly basis. 

Despite those numbers, the Nets could be looking to move Brook Lopez for a more dominant piece to take them over the edge in the Eastern Conference. 

Since last year, Lopez has been the biggest name mentioned in rumors for Dwight Howard

RealGM's Jarrod Rudolph stated the Nets may still be interested in acquiring Howard by trading Lopez:

According to sources, [Nets general manager Billy] King was planning to contact the Minnesota Timberwolves in order to gauge their interest in a three-team trade that would send Kevin Love to the Lakers, Brook Lopez to the Timberwolves and Dwight Howard to the Nets.

Other small pieces would need to be included, but the proposed trade was thought to be intriguing enough to start conversations in the Lakers front office that would force them to deal with Howard earlier than planned.

In contradiction to those sources, Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News is reporting that the Nets aren't interested in trading Lopez:

According to multiple team sources, the Nets have not engaged in trade talks for Howard and remain skeptical the Lakers will deal their center by next month’s deadline. They’ve also talked privately with Lopez about the circumstances, reassuring him that he’s not involved in any trade proposals after he signed a four-year, $61 million deal.

It would seem wise of the Nets to stick with Lopez, who is playing close to the level of Howard. In addition to nearly matching him in stats, Lopez has been consistent, has played within the Nets' system and stayed on the court.  

Because of his strong play this season, Lopez will be playing in his first All-Star game as he will replace injured Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo. 

At this point it seems Lopez will be staying in Brooklyn past the trade deadline. Although, should the Lakers show some interest in dumping Howard, the Nets could come knocking and look to move Lopez.