Lopez wants to play entire career with Nets
Lopez is only 24 years old, but already knows that he wants to be part of the Brooklyn Nets now and for the rest of his NBA life.
"The Nets are the only place I want to be," Lopez told ESPNNewYork.com. "I want to be a Net for my entire career."
The center re-signed with the Nets last week, earning a four-year, $60 million contract to remain with the team that drafted him No. 10 overall in 2008. Lopez has averaged 17.4 points and 7.5 rebounds a game in his five seasons, and although he still isn’t at 100 percent after missing all but five games last season due to foot and ankle injuries, he has been cleared for most basketball activity and will be ready for the season.
Of course, whether or not he gets his wish – or even plays out his contract in Brooklyn – is still to be determined.
Prior to being re-signed, the then-restricted free agent was mentioned as a possible trade chip in a deal to acquire Dwight Howard from Orlando. Now that he is back in Brooklyn, Lopez is ineligible to be traded until at least January 15, but if Howard’s status is still in limbo with the Magic, rumors might swirl again – even if Lopez isn’t paying attention.
"I don't read a lot of stuff you guys write," Lopez said. "I read a lot of comic books and they don't mention Dwight Howard much."
Lopez also told ESPNNewYork.com that he didn’t know if he would’ve agreed to a sign-and-trade agreement as part of a Howard deal, but he’s happy to be in Brooklyn – and happy that coach Avery Johnson, who called Lopez a “top-five center,” visited him at his recent camp in New Jersey to put his mind at ease.
“It was very reassuring," Lopez said. "He (Johnson) wants to build something special here and he wants me to be a part of it."
Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES
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