Report: Indiana Pacers Mulling Trade For Brook Lopez

The Indiana Pacers are hoping to make a move prior to Thursday’s NBA trade deadline and may have zeroed in on Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez.

The Indiana Pacers clearly hear the clock ticking for Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

With just hours remaining to bolster its roster for a potential run in the 2017 NBA playoffs, Indiana has reportedly targeted Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez, for a multitude of reasons.

Four time All-Star forward Paul George is set to become a free agent in the summer of 2018, but an upgraded roster may be enough to convince him to sign an extension at the conclusion of this year and avoid the constant speculation of his future with the organization.

The Pacers have made their 2017 first round pick available in trades, leading to rampant speculation from around the league.

The timing may work out perfectly for both organizations, as the Pacers are hoping to bring in a prominent scorer to play alongside George.

Despite averages of 22.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game from George this season, Indiana has lost six consecutive contests and with a 29-28 record, is just two games ahead of Detroit for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

In his ninth season, all spent with the Nets, Lopez has added a respectable three-point shot to his offensive arsenal, converting 90 times from beyond the arc at a 34.4 percent clip.

In his last outing, Lopez even became the first player to reject eight shots and connect six times from beyond the arc in the same game.

Lopez is averaging over 20 points per game for the fourth time in his career, but his individual efforts aren’t enough for a struggling Brooklyn team.

The Nets have recorded just nine victories this season, the fewest in the NBA this season. Phoenix has the worst record in the Western Conference and second-worst in the league, but have double as many victories as Brooklyn.

The Nets closed out the first half of the season with a 13-game losing streak, making them the only team with a longer active stretch of losses than Indiana.

Typically a team struggling has the hope of improving through the draft, but the Nets dealt away their first round pick to Boston, along with their first round selection in 2018.

In an effort to begin its rebuilding process, Brooklyn has reportedly lowered its asking price for Lopez, the primary asset on the roster.

Brooklyn already owns the Pacers’ 2017 second round draft selection, stemming from the trade the two teams finalized last summer, with Thaddeus Young joining Indiana for Caris LeVert.

After the Pelicans unexpectedly acquired All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins from Sacramento Sunday night, apparently the door has opened for teams to once again pair sizable players in the frontcourt.

Indiana may pair two promising centers in an attempt to climb the Eastern Conference standings. The addition of Lopez would put a low-post threat alongside sophomore center Myles Turner, a pair that could complement each other well.

Despite his seven-foot frame, Lopez is grabbing just 5.2 rebounds per game, tying him with Harrison Barnes, Rajon Rondo, Jae Crowder and John Henson for the 81st highest average in the league.

Turner is pulling down 7.2 rebounds a game, with 1.6 coming on the offensive end of the floor. Even with Turner’s production, the Pacers are pulling down just 8.4 offensive rebounds a game, the second-fewest in the league.

The Pacers are hoping to acquire talent to not only formulate a playoff run this season, but add a piece significant enough to strike a long-term agreement with George.

Brooklyn has the fewest amount of victories and the lowest team salary at $74.7 million, but little hope of rebuilding.

A deal prior to Thursday’s trade deadline could be extremely beneficial for both sides.

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