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Stein: Nets Afraid Of Blazers Run At RFA C Brook Lopez?

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Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports on Twitter that the Brooklyn Nets set Wednesday as a deadline for their trade talks with the Orlando Magic over All-Star center Dwight Howard. One reason for the timing, he said, is that the Nets felt the Portland Trail Blazers might make an offer to restricted free agent center Brook Lopez, who is needed to complete a sign-and-trade for Howard. ------------------------------------ Among Nets' reasons to push for Dwight finality today, sources say, is fear Blazers will sign RFA Brook Lopez after Indiana matched on Hibbert Source close to process says Portland & Charlotte have indeed told Brook Lopez they're ready to sign him today to four-year max offer sheet ------------------------------------ Lopez will command a max offer, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Wojnarowski adds on Twitter that Brooklyn is prepared to forego their Howard pursuit to keep Lopez. ------------------------------------ Brooklyn's fully guaranteed the first 4 years, $58M of a max deal offer for Brook Lopez, sources tell Y! Sides still discussing 5th year. To keep alive chances to get Howard, Billy King can't let Lopez sign sheet. Nor can he let him walk if Nets don't get DH. Has to pay Lopez. There's a window Nets can still deal Lopez in sign-and-trade to Magic today, but it's closing fast. Doubt they'll drag this into Thursday. ------------------------------------ Lopez, 24, holds career averages of 17.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. The Blazers agreed to make a 4-year, $58 million offer to Indiana Pacers restricted free agent center Roy Hibbert last week but moved on after the Pacers agreed to give Hibbert the same deal in order to retain him. Blazers GM Neil Olshey said on Monday that his team didn't have any other major free agency targets at the moment. -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
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