In a league that now requires at least two players on a team with a “max” contract to succeed, there are bound to be overpaid players. Brook Lopez is the definition of an overpaid NBA player.
In the midst of an overhaul this summer, the Brooklyn Nets went all in to bring a formidable roster to the table this coming season when they open up in Brooklyn. After bringing Deron Williams and Joe Johnson into the fold, the Nets wanted to make one last push at the man that has haunted their dreams since December, Dwight Howard.
In light of this one last go at the former number one pick, the Nets extended their own center, Brook Lopez’s contract to a four year, 61 million dollar deal. Of course, the Dwight Howard trade talks fell through once again, and the rest is history. So now the Nets have a 7 foot 1 former All-Star center coming off two foot injuries and that can not grab more than 6 rebounds in the middle.
Not only is Brook Lopez the wrong type of center to pay 15 and a quarter million dollars per season to, the main facet of his game, scoring, is already being done by two other starting players, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams. The Nets are spending money on a score-first center who averages over 17-points a game for his career that is not a necessity at the moment.
The Nets are getting their money stolen from them from this so-called center. In my eyes, Lopez is an over-sized power forward in this league, and the Nets need a bruiser in the middle to command the defense. With the likes of Andrew Bynum, Kevin Garnett, and Tyson Chandler in their division alone, the Nets will have trouble stopping teams from walking through the paint and scoring.
The Nets are more in need of a defensive presence in the paint, and Lopez is far from it. With Kris Humphries being a great rebounder, but only an average defender for his lack of speed, the center position needs to take on the Nets’ oppositions best frontcourt player. Although, Lopez is an awful defender who is uncoordinated, lacks any speed, and does a terrible job of reading plays and defending them. Lopez’s inept play on the defensive end could prohibit the Nets from making strides deep into the postseason.
The Brooklyn Nets front office has had such a great offseason filled with media attention depicting their move to Brooklyn all the way to signing and trading for former All-Stars. Now they made a blind decision to sign a player that only hurts the team more than the benefit he could give to the team.
So, where do they go from here?
Well first, Lopez must remain with the team until January 15th, as that is what the new CBA makes contract signings agree to. The team has to deal with the center and then if he doesn’t recover as well as the medical staff thinks from his surgeries, or just doesn’t fit with this star-studded Net team, the Nets could look to deal the big guy as a scoring Center which is a hot commodity in this league. Although, with this large contract, the Nets will have issues getting him off their roster, for no team will want to obtain an overpaid injury-prone center.
Many agree that this offseason was the summer of the Nets. The organization went out and got what they needed to build a championship contender in light of their move to Brooklyn. Although their final transaction was signing the Stanford alumni which is now a liability to the Nets moving through the postseason and taking down teams such as the Heat and Bulls in the East. I do indeed hope Brook Lopez proves myself and many doubters wrong this year, or he takes the cake of “Most Overpaid Player in the NBA Today.”