I guess this free agency frenzy cooled down a little bit too much, because an hour ago we learned that Nets Center Brook Lopez suffered a stress fracture in his right foot:
This. Changes. Everything. (@tomhaberstroh)
The severity is still up in the air and a timetable will be likely set following the surgery tomorrow (early reports have 4-6 weeks), but the injury could easily take the center out way longer. While this is a tough break for Lopez himself and the Nets organization, Tom Haberstroh is certainly right. Because the Nets lose all leverage in the D12 sweepstakes, it has major implications on the Mavs 2012 free agency outlook.
Only a few days ago the plan of making a run for any of the three major free agents in 2012 seemed to be more than a pipe dream. Now the "worst-case" possibility of Deron Williams and Dwight Howard teaming up in Brooklyn is gone and the Nets suddenly look like they could even miss the playoffs. Do they have enough to convince Deron Williams to stay with them next season as a lottery team?
For Orlando that means the pursuers of D12 are reduced to the L.A. Lakers right now. He only would sign with the Nets, Lakers and Mavericks long-term and the Lakers have the best (and maybe only) package to offer with Bynum and Gasol. But they are reluctant to give up both and that could lead to Dwight staying in Orlando past the deadline and also entering the free agency in 2012.
So a broken bone in the right foot of Brook Lopez effectively upgraded the Mavs chances of landing either Dwight Howard or Deron Williams in next years free agency.