Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Brooklyn Nets are “progressing” toward a max contract with restricted free agent center Brook Lopez, who was the centerpiece of their offer to the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard.
Nets president Billy King and Lopez’s agent, Arn Tellem, are finalizing the length of the deal — four years for $58 million, or five years for $78 million — and ironing out protections on the back end to account for a right foot that Lopez broke twice in the past year, sources said.
King is scheduled to travel to Los Angeles on Wednesday to work on completing the deal with Tellem.
Here’s the rub: Once Lopez re-signs, he can’t be traded until December, making it unlikely that Howard would be wearing a Nets uniform on opening night.
Sources tell Wojnarowski that the Nets are starting to believe that Magic general manager Rob Hennigan simply wants to do a deal elsewhere.
“The Nets are pushing hard on Lopez’s deal to apply pressure to Orlando,” Wojnarowski writes, “but there’s nothing left for them to offer Orlando that they haven’t already made available to them.”