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Stanford Basketball Power Ranking: Top 15 NBA Cardinal Careers, #3

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At #3, we have the man with the most franchise-appropriate first name in the history of the NBA.

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3. Brook Lopez, 7' C, 260 lbs. (2007- ). Stats: 17.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.9 bpg, 0.6 spg, 79.2% ft%, 51.1% fg%, 20.9 PER, 0.159 WS/48, 32.5 mpg. Accolades: 2013 All-Star, 2009 All-Rookie First Team - The best Stanford export in almost 50 years (see below), Brook Lopez has been a frustrating NBA near-star for several years now. His recurring foot issues have cost him big chunks of several seasons, although when he's been healthy and properly motivated (he lacks rebounding intuition), he's been one of the few legitimate 20-and-10 big man threats left in the small-ball-centric NBA. Shaq even (inaccurately) called him the best center in the NBA during his lone All-Star season. He has been posted those numbers with considerable efficiency, shooting 51.1% from the field on an ample 13.7 field goal attempts a night, at an average usage rate of 25.3% (Robin's average usage rate is 17%). His rebounding numbers are oft-maligned considering his size and scoring output, but he's had some pretty good seasons on that front (8.6 boards in 2009-10 is his high; he also played in every game that year).

Brook is now the offensive focal point and all-around best player on the Brooklyn Nets, after struggling through a trying 2014-15 season, wherein he only started for 44 of his 72 games played under his new, defensive-oriented coach Lionel Hollins. Lopez ultimately proved his mettle in the playoffs, though, where his size so bothered the 60-win Eastern Conference 1st-seeded Atlanta Hawks, that the 8th-seeded Nets -- who went 38-44 this season -- were able to take Atlanta to six games, and, until that last game, the series really felt like a toss-up. No contest outside of that 111-87 slaughter was decided by more than 10 points. Lopez had three double-doubles during that series, averaging a spectacular 19.8 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks while shooting 49.4% from the floor and 82.3% from the free-throw line.

Assuming they can retain him, the Nets will go only as far as Brook Lopez can take them, and there's a chance that we haven't seen his best stuff just yet. Frankly, Lopez is highly gettable this summer, since there are only two free-agent centers out there who are better than him, Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge, and there are WAY more than two suitors for their services. As a consolation prize, you could do a whole lot worse than an All-Star-when-he's-healthy, which is exactly what Brook Lopez continues to be.

Update 11:45 AM - Lopez has re-signed with the Brooklyn Nets. The deal reportedly is for three years, at $20 million per year. For a player with Lopez's injury history, this was the smart play. The deal will look much better against Brooklyn's total salary bill come next summer, when the NBA cap is expected to jump by about $20 million itself. And Lopez is still a top-10 center in this league.