Deron Williams, Nets assure Brook Lopez he'll remain their center

Brook Lopez celebrates a second-half basket with Deron

Brook Lopez celebrates a second-half basket with Deron Williams during a game against the Los Angeles Clippers. (Nov. 23, 2012) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

MINNEAPOLIS -- When he caught wind of the latest Dwight Howard trade rumors, Deron Williams sought out Brook Lopez and had a quick heart-to-heart with the Nets' center not long after they arrived here in the Upper Midwest.

Williams did his best to assuage Lopez's feelings during their conversation, making sure he kept his spirits up after an Internet report claimed the Nets were preparing to make a three-team trade proposal with hope of landing Howard. But just in case Williams' confab with Lopez didn't clear things up enough, the point guard proclaimed that the 7-footer will be in Nets garb once the Feb. 21 trade deadline passes.

"We're happy with Brook," Williams said before the Nets played the Timberwolves at the Target Center Wednesday night. "Brook is our center. He's having an All-Star year, so I don't see Brook going anywhere."

He added: "All it is is rumors and sources. Sources are not credible to me. Until you put a name to a source, it's not credible."

The Lakers reportedly have turned down trade inquiries for Howard in recent weeks, but the seven-time All-Star center still hasn't committed to re-signing with Los Angeles.

Lopez is having the best all-around season of his five-year career, averaging team-bests in points (18.5), blocks (2.1) and field-goal percentage (51.7), and second in rebounding at 7.4 boards per game. He has a shot at being selected as an Eastern Conference All-Star reserve and insists he's not bothered by the rumors. "It's not too frustrating," Lopez said. "Like I've said a million times, I don't pay attention to the stuff. I just try to go about my business and play my game."

P.J. Carlesimo was asked if he's had to speak to Lopez since the latest trade talk surrounding Howard. "I wasn't aware that they were talking stuff like that, the Nets interim coach said. I think it's more appropriate for [GM] Billy [King to address], but again, that's part of the NBA unfortunately and I think Brook's seen it enough that he can just put it aside."

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