Los Angeles Clippers vs. Brooklyn Nets
7:30 p.m. PST
January 22, 201509
TNT/ FOX Prime Ticket
Video of the Day
1. Will Brook Lopez still be in Brooklyn by season’s end?
Devin Kharpertian, The Brooklyn Game, (@uuords): My guess is no. The Nets have worked tirelessly to unload at least one of their “Big 3,” and Lopez is the most expendable thanks to his relatively small contract (compared to Deron Williams & Joe Johnson) and Mason Plumlee’s emergence as a legitimate NBA center. Going to be weird to see Brook Lopez in a new uniform, but it seems most likely.
Fred Katz, (@FredKatz): No. He can’t be. Lopez and Lionel Hollins don’t exactly appear to be on the same page, and even though the Nets center has actually been tremendous coming off the bench during January, the fit doesn’t seem to work for a man who could hit free agency this summer if he elects not to pick up his 2015-16 player option.
Seth Partnow, (@SethPartnow): No. With the luxury tax included, the amount of real dollar savings for a team that is going nowhere fast are borderline astronomical. By the trade deadline we’ll very much be in “no reasonable offer refused” territory.
2. For a while it was Chris Paul versus Deron Williams for title of “Best Point Guard” in the league, just how far has D-Will fallen down that list?
Kharpertian: In on-court value, he’s still a serviceable point guard who can run an offense, somewhere around the middle tier of NBA point guards. He makes up for his lost explosiveness with his three-point shooting and distributing skills. In trade value, he’s closer to Cliff Paul than Chris Paul.
Katz: Somewhere below 15th, maybe below 20th. He’s lost quickness, assertiveness and the ability to open up holes in a defense. In no particular order, I’d take any of these floor generals over him: Paul, Westbrook, Curry, Lillard, Kyrie, Lowry, Kemba, Conley, Rose, Teague, Wall, Lawson, Bledsoe, Carter-Williams, Holiday, Dragic, Beverley, Rondo, Knight.
Partnow: He’s not really on the list any more. Another guy for whom injuries have taken their toll, Rajon Rondo, is still capable of battling the elite on a game-to-game basis, but Williams just isn’t there any more.
3. Steve Ballmer paid $2 billion for the Clippers, what will Mikhail Prokhorov fetch for the Nets?
Kharpertian: I don’t know if he’ll net $2 billion, if only because his stake is 80 percent and not 100. But it’ll be close. The Nets are a big-market franchise with a boatload of cap space opening up right around the time the league starts making $3 billion per season in TV revenue. Add the psychic value of owning a team, and the Nets might sell at the highest valuation ever.
Katz: Convenient you’d ask this since Forbes just released its annual NBA franchise value estimations, which has the Nets set at $1.5 billion. Still, operating income is almost $100 million in the negatives and there’s a bunch of lingering cash on a team without much of a future. I’ll guess Prokhorov gets over a billion in the league’s biggest market, but not much more.