Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/11/12

The Brooklyn Nets are near a four-year, $58 million contract extension with center Brook Lopez, the maximum amount any other team could offer Lopez as a restricted free agent.

The two sides, according to multiple reports, are negotiating a possible fifth year that would bring the final terms of the deal to five years, $78 million. Only the first four years are guaranteed.

The Nets would be retaining Lopez and not using him as a sign-and-trade chip to land Magic center Dwight Howard.

The Nets were thought to be very open to keeping Lopez as part of the core of the team despite the recent aggressive run at Howard, a five-time All-NBA center, but were wary of health concerns that dogged Lopez last season.

Until the deal is officially signed, a remote chance remained that Charlotte or Portland, which offered Pacers center Roy Hibbert a four-year, $58 million restricted free agent offer, could swoop in and complicate matters.

There's also an outside chance the Nets and Magic will come together on a two-team deal centered around Howard.

General manager Billy King continued dialogue with the Magic on Wednesday. ESPN reported King informed Lopez he would either be signed to remain with the team or dealt, but the Nets plan is to resolve his status Wednesday.

Lopez, a 24-year-old 7-footer drafted 10th overall in the 2008 draft, missed the first 32 games last season with a fractured right foot. He was injured in the final preseason game and had surgery Dec. 23.

He played five games, averaging 19.2 points and 3.6 rebounds, before he sprained his right ankle against the Charlotte Bobcats and was shut down for the rest of the season.

Lopez played all 82 games in his first three seasons and has career averages of 17.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.

He's the one player the Magic would demand in return if the Nets can pull off a deal for center Dwight Howard. Any such swap faces significant hurdles, primarily because the Magic prefers a deal that brings back minimal salary commitments to unload Howard.

Howard is in the final year of his contract and said in June that he won't sign a long-term deal unless he's traded to Brooklyn.

Because Lopez was injured last season, a proposed three-team trade with the Magic was put on the shelf, as was a new contract with the Nets.

The Nets extended a one-year, $4.2 million qualifying offer to Lopez as a restricted free agent rather than negotiate a long-term deal before the Jan. 25 extension deadline last season.

If the two sides don't agree to a new deal, Lopez can become an unrestricted free agent in July 2013.

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