Countdown to the trade deadline - YOUR view on Nurkic, Lopez trades
Should the @Celtics trade for #JusufNurkic or #BrookLopez before the #TradeDeadline? If so, which? @CelticsLife #Celtics #Nuggets #Nets #NBA— justin quinn (@justinquinnn) January 7, 2017
There's plenty of reasons why, too. While Brook Lopez may be one of the league's best at blocking shots - he's logging 2.4 per just under 30 minutes a game with the Brooklyn Nets, he's also making $21 million this year, and will make just under $23 million next season. That would pretty much stop Boston's search for a max contract free agent for the next two seasons, and while Lopez' 20.1 points per game would be a big addition for a scoring-starved frontcourt, his 5.1 boards per game would do nothing for one of the team's bigger problems this season.
Nurkic, on the other hand, is only 22 years old, and still has another year after this season on his rookie deal. While his numbers pale in comparison to Lopez - he's logging 9.3 points, .9 blocks, and 6.8 rebounds per game, he's playing about a third less minutes on a team (the Denver Nuggets) overloaded with quality big men like Nikola Jokic, Kenneth Faried, and others. Per-36 numbers should always be taken with a grain of salt, but the 12.2 boards, 1.6 blocks and 16.8 points per 36 minutes projections seem very attainable, especially given his age.
@justinquinnn @celtics @CelticsLife RealGM says Nets want 2 1st rounders for Lopez— Jimmakos Anon (@JimakoKlainMain) January 7, 2017
Perhaps even more than salary is the fact that while Brooklyn reportedly is demanding not one but TWO first round picks in exchange for Lopez (and may be even less disposed to deal with the Celtics for reasons I hope I do not need to explain), the asking price in terms of salary match and assets is probably much lower given Denver's big man logjam, especially now that reported target Paul Millsap is supposedly off the market.
So, having said all that, let's take a look at our collective Celticslife hive-mind's assessment of the situation:
Some of you wanted Lopez:
@justinquinnn @celtics @CelticsLife Celtic needs a big man! brook lopez is the key!— Robin DiStiso (@rdistiso) January 7, 2017
But more of you preferred Nurkic:
@justinquinnn @celtics @CelticsLife Young good big with high potential as long as the deal was fair I'd take Nurkic.— Bert Ferkins (@bertferkins) January 7, 2017
None of you bid high (for Nurkic):
Some of you bid low (for Nurkic):
@justinquinnn @CelticsLife Rozier Mickey and Memphis pick. Pull the trigger.— Bert Ferkins (@bertferkins) January 7, 2017
But nobody bid for Lopez:@bertferkins @justinquinnn @CelticsLife That's too much for a guy getting DNPs. Two of Amir/Zeller/Mickey and a reasonable pick.— Zach Davis (@zrdavis9) January 7, 2017
Some of you want nothing to do with him:
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Photo via Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn