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Rumor: Heat interested in former All-Star Brook Lopez?

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The timing of the rumor is odd, with the recent strong play at the center position for Miami

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk, the Miami Heat are showing strong interest in Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez.

Lopez, who made the All-Star team two seasons ago, is averaging 14.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game on just 26.3 minutes per game. Lopez has mostly been coming off the bench as of late for the Nets, but his per minute production is on par with his career norms.

Lopez was once a 20-point scorer, one of the last true low post threats in the league, and also someone with a solid mid-range jumper, but accommodating his style of play is more challenging in today's NBA. Lopez isn't exactly fleet of foot, and can be a defensive liability on the move despite his improvement as a shot-blocker in recent years. The most worrisome issue with Lopez, however is that he has shown to be injury prone, missing all but 5 games in the 2011-2012 season and suffering a season ending injury 17 games into last season (he was averaging a career high 20.7 points per game).

Contract-wise, Lopez wouldn't hurt Miami's plans, but they face a risk of losing him after this season, making him a potentially costly three month rental. Lopez signed a 4-year deal in 2012 which would end in time for the 2016 free agent extravaganza, but he does have an early opt-out after this season. Lopez makes $15 million annually and it seems unlikely he can garner that much again after his injury woes as well as a general decline in plodding big men being sought after commodities.

With the emergence of Hassan Whiteside and the recent strong play of Chris Andersen, I do not think Miami would seriously consider this move. They would have a tough time making the contracts match and would likely have to give up Luol Deng and more to get him. Furthermore, the Nets also desire draft picks and future assets more than a veteran player that would cause them to eek into the playoffs before losing in the first round.

For now, take this as a rumor, but don't be surprised if Miami bites on something down the road either.