EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Nets are no strangers to injury, which probably is why coach Lionel Hollins seemed so nonchalant Saturday when talking about the likely absence of Brook Lopez and Deron Williams for Sunday night's game against the Detroit Pistons in Brooklyn.
A league source confirmed to Newsday that the Nets and Kings have talked about a trade involving Williams but said no deal is imminent. The source said the Nets are not looking to trade Mason Plumlee.
Lopez, who has missed the last seven games with a strained back, did some shooting and other light work Saturday but did not practice, Hollins said. The 7-foot center is officially listed as out for Sunday night's game.
Williams, who left Friday night's 95-91 loss in Cleveland in the second quarter because of a right calf issue, had an MRI Saturday that revealed a strained muscle. He is considered "doubtful" for Sunday night, the team said.
Lopez and Williams average 31.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 7.6 assists between them, but Hollins insisted the Nets will manage without their services. He pointed out that without Lopez and Williams against the Cavaliers, "we played our butts off, we scrambled and we had a chance to win the game at the end" if Kevin Garnett's potential tying three-point attempt had gone in with 2.8 seconds left.
Williams, who has been healthy all season after undergoing ankle surgery during the summer, hopes to return Tuesday night at home against Denver.
So does Lopez, whose recent injury history has been well documented. The 26-year-old has played in 16 of the Nets' 25 games this season, having missed most of the preseason and the first two games of the regular season with a sprained right foot. He played in only 17 games in 2013-14 before surgery on the same foot ended his season. After playing in all 82 games in each of his first three seasons, Lopez has played in only 112 of 255 games the past four seasons.
Without him, the Nets (10-15) have been getting solid play from Plumlee, who has started the last seven games in Lopez's place. Plumlee, who is averaging 7.6 points and 5.8 rebounds this season, has averaged 14.9 points and 8.6 rebounds and shot 57.3 percent from the field in the last seven games.
Hollins was asked if he would consider keeping Plumlee in the starting lineup even after Lopez returns.
"I'll cross that bridge when I get there," Hollins said. "I have my thoughts on it, but I don't want to share them. I have been thinking about it, but it's not something that needs to be talked about at this point."
Notes & quotes: Barclays Center will celebrate Jewish Heritage Night at Sunday night's game.
With Roderick Boone