The New Jersey Nets suffered a devastating loss on Wednesday night as they fell to the New York Knicks in the final preseason game of this shortened training camp for the Association. The “Bergen County Record” has reported that Nets starting center Brook Lopez broke his right foot in the first half of the contest. Lopez will undergo surgery to fix the fifth metatarsal bone in his foot and will most likely keep him off the hardwood until February.
New Jersey not only loses one of the best young centers in the NBA; they also lose the key bargaining chip in their effort to acquire Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard. If the Magic were to deal Howard to the Nets; then any package New Jersey offered would have Lopez right at the top of the list. After the injury any trade talks between the two clubs will be suspended, until Lopez shows that he can do everything on the court that he could do before he got hurt.
New Jersey General Manager Billy King told reporters that he would not be pressed into making a panic move to fill the big man’s shoes; even though the only other center on the club’s roster is Johan Petro. King said “It’s tough but it’s sports. It is what it is. … Injuries happen, it’s part of sports and it’s how you react to them. Other guys gotta step up until we do something else. I’m gonna do my job and look at the options, but they’re not going to stop the season. But, you know, I’ll do my job and look into try to help the roster at the right time. If I can do it before we start then that would be great. Your gut reaction is to do something quickly. But I think I need to just look at all the options first and do something that is wise rather than just react.”
If the roster remains the same then forwards Kris Humphries and Shelden Williams will most likely finding themselves logging minutes at the pivot position. Lopez has played three years in the Association since New Jersey drafted him from Stanford in the 2008 NBA Draft. The 23-year-old big man has averaged 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game for his career.