Fresno's Lopez Gets Max Deal, Killing Howard Trade

Former Fresnan Brook Lopez turned out to be a key player in the potential trade of Dwight Howard after all. Lopez was key in preventing the deal to send Howard to the Nets because Brooklyn was forced to work out a new contract with Lopez, or risk having him sign an offer sheet with another NBA team.

Both Portland and Charlotte were out there as possibilities.

Lopez, a seven-footer out of San Joaquin Memorial High school and first round draft pick out of Stanford, gets a four year contract worth 61 million dollars to stay with Brooklyn.

According to NBA rules, he cannot be traded now until January 15th, and Orlando is not going to wait that long to unload Howard.

Lopez has averaged 17 1/2 points and 7 1/2 rebounds a game over his four year NBA career, but he only played five games last season because of a broken foot.