NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 30: Brooks Lopez #43 of the New Jersey Nets puts his shoe on during the games against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 30, 2011 in 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. The Knicks defeated the Nets 120-116. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Back In A New York Groove: Brook Lopez Signs Maximum Contract With Nets

With the Dwight Howard trade pursuit dead for now, the Brooklyn Nets moved quickly to secure center Brook Lopez, re-signing him to a four-year, $61 million deal.

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Brook Lopez Has Maximum Contract Offers From Blazers, Bobcats, According To Report

An earlier report suggested that Brooklyn Nets restricted free-agent center Brook Lopez had one maximum contract offer sheet from a team other than the Nets. As it turns out, he might actually have two. The Portland Trail Blazers and Charlotte Bobcats have both told Lopez that they would be willing to sign him to a four-year max contract, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.

The Nets would have the ability to match any contract Lopez receives, but that would mean they couldn't leave open the option of trading Lopez for Dwight Howard. That's why the Nets are negotiating a deal themselves with Lopez that would provide him the five-year maximum contract only he can provide. Without that fifth year, Lopez could sign the Blazers' or Bobcats' offer and kill any Howard trade possibility.

Lopez played in just five games last year as he recovered from a foot injury.

You can track all the Dwight Howard trade drama by visiting this StoryStream. For more on the Nets and Magic, check out NetsDaily and Orlando Pinstriped Post. The latest updates on all NBA news and rumors are at SB Nation's dedicated NBA hub.

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Brook Lopez, Nets Continue Negotiations On Maximum Contract, According To Report

The Brooklyn Nets and center Brook Lopez continue negotiations on the terms of what essentially would amount to a maximum contract extension, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. As of now, the two sides have agreed to fully guarantee the first four years for $58 million. The hold-up remains the fifth year.

The Nets' urgency for resolving the Lopez situation has a lot to do with preserving the chance at trading for Dwight Howard. If the Nets sign Lopez to a contract, they have only 48 hours to deal it in a sign-and-trade if they so choose. Otherwise, they must wait until December 15 to trade Lopez again. Lopez would be the centerpiece of the Nets' trade package for Howard.

The urgency for all of this increased because Lopez has a maximum contract offer on the table from another team, according to Howard Beck of the New York Times.

Lopez, a restricted free agent, is weighing a maximum-salary offer sheet from a rival team, according to a person with knowledge of the proposed deal. If Lopez were to sign the offer sheet, it would eliminate him as a trading chip and kill the Nets’ chances of landing Howard this summer.

It was not immediately known which team was preparing the offer sheet, but three teams have the cap room to do so: the Charlotte Bobcats, the Dallas Mavericks and the Portland Trail Blazers.

If Lopez signs that offer sheet with another team, the Nets would have three days to match it, but they cannot match it and then trade Lopez for Howard. That's why the Nets are moving quickly to resolve Lopez's status while also engaging with the Magic on trade scenarios for Howard.

You can track all the Dwight Howard trade drama by visiting this StoryStream. For more on the Nets and Magic, check out NetsDaily and Orlando Pinstriped Post. The latest updates on all NBA news and rumors are at SB Nation's dedicated NBA hub.

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Brook Lopez, Nets Negotiating Max Contract Extension, According To Report

The Brooklyn Nets certainly want Dwight Howard, but with a deal not in sight the team has inched closer to other options, such as negotiating a maximum contract with center Brook Lopez, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. Such a deal, if or when it is signed, would prevent the Nets from trading Lopez until December, when teams are allowed to move players who signed new contracts.

Both sides still need to work on the length of the contract, which could be four years and $58 million or five years and $78 million. Also, the Nets want to make sure they will be covered in case Lopez's right foot becomes an issue. It broke twice this past season.

With the Nets seemingly moving out of a potential deal for Dwight Howard, NBA eyes will turn elsewhere to see where the center might wind up.

You can track all the Dwight Howard trade drama by visiting this StoryStream. For more on the Nets, Magic, Cavs and Clippers, check out NetsDaily, Orlando Pinstriped Post, Fear The Sword and Clips Nation, respectively. The latest updates on all NBA news and rumors are at SB Nation's dedicated NBA hub.

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