Lakers Reportedly Expressed Interest in Brook Lopez Trade Before Foot Injury

It's apparently Brook Lopez's turn to draw interest from the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to's Marc Stein, the Lakers contacted the Brooklyn Nets about a potential Pau Gasol-for-Lopez swap before the latter suffered a season-ending foot injury:

Sources with knowledge of the discussions told that the Lakers did indeed engage the Nets earlier this month in some exploratory talks to see if Brooklyn had interest in such a swap. Sources say that the Nets balked at the idea when it was presented before Lopez's injury, but it's still noteworthy if it happened.

Obviously, Brooklyn scoffed at the proposal. Lopez was the Nets' leading scorer and shot-blocker as well as their second-leading rebounder before he went down. His player efficiency rating (25.7) also ranked seventh among all NBA players averaging at least 25 minutes per game.

Trading him for a 33-year-old on his last legs would've made zero sense.

Well, it would have made zero sense then.

One could make the case that it would now benefit the Nets, a team stuck in financial purgatory for the next few seasons. Flipping an injured Lopez for Gasol's expiring deal, while still somewhat lopsided, would certainly facilitate a Brooklyn-based fire sale.

But that's neither here nor there. Both sides are likely against it now. A straight-up trade wouldn't work financially either because Gasol is earning over $4 million more than Lopez is this season. More pieces would need to be included.

Talks, however preliminary, are only noteworthy because it shows the Lakers aren't averse to assuming long-term contracts.

Since July, when's Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst revealed Los Angeles would become major free-agency players this coming summer, it's been assumed the Lakers wouldn't make any transactions that would compromise their impending flexibility.

"I don't h...

About the Author