Daily Gossip, Thursday 9/4/15

With the Playoffs right around the corner and plans for next season already in the works, it’s not surprise that today’s gossip column focuses around next season.

PROKHOROV: WE WANT BROOK BACK

Brooklyn Nets big man Brook Lopez looks likely to turn down his player option, worth $16.7million, but despite this, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is still confident that he’ll land Lopez for next season.

Via Sportando:

Russian owner for the Brooklyn Nets Mikhail Prokhorov spoke about Brook Lopez’s situation: 

“As Hollins told you 20 times, we want him back. We need him and think Brooklyn is his home”

Coach Lionel Hollins has already spoken of his intentions of keeping Lopez as well.

Via NorthJersey (Mar 31)

“I just said I want him back. How many … times do I have to say that?” Hollins said, after extended questioning about Lopez’s future. “I want him back. I want him back. Everybody, I want him back. But it’s still his call.”

After this season, Lopez has two choices: he can commit to the final year of his contract, which would pay him $16.8 million, or he can opt out and become an unrestricted free agent.

Opting in would give Lopez the opportunity to hit free agency next summer when teams would have more money to spend.

The salary cap is expected to jump significantly for the 2016-17 season as a result of a new television rights deal.

LATEST MOVES IN THE DRAFT

This year’s NBA Draft will not compete with last year’s class, but hopefully they can still make a name for themselves.

Here’s the latest group declaring their interest.

It was reported that Duke’s Jahlil Okafor would enter the Draft and with it, be an automatic favourite to be picked as the number one selection. At the moment, it has not been confirmed. (Update: 23:56: Okafor has declared for the 2015 NBA Draft)

Kentucky coach John Calipri announced that seven players will enter the Draft, as Karl-Anthony Towns, Cauley-Stein, Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, Dakari Johnson and Harrison Twins will enter the NBA Draft. Calipari said Alex Poythress hasn’t decided yet whether to return to school.

UTEP’s Vince Hunter has declared for the NBA Draft. He made his decision during a chat with ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. Hunter averaged 14.9 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in his sophomore year.

SIM BHULLAR’S FIRST NBA BUCKET

The first NBA player of Indian descent has made his first basket in the NBA. The Sacramento Kings still lost 103-91 to the Utah Jazz, but Bhullar got on the scoresheet.