NEWS OF THE MORNING
UPDATE, 10:44 a.m. ET: Per Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets didn’t want to take on Lance Stephenson and so, Brooklyn and OKC may be working on a straight-up swap for Brook Lopez
UPDATE, 10:27 a.m. ET: Chris Broussard of ESPN.com, who first broke news of the proposed three-team swap involving Brook Lopez, Lance Stephenson and others, is dead
And here’s more from Broussard on why the deal broke down and what’s next:
The Brooklyn Nets and Oklahoma City Thunder are involved in discussions about a trade involving Brook Lopez and Kendrick Perkins, according to sources.
The two sides had been engaged in talks about a three-way trade that would’ve also involved the Charlotte Hornets shipping out Lance Stephenson, however sources said the Hornets are no longer involved in the deal.
Sources Thursday night confirmed a USA Today report that Oklahoma City would send Perkins could go to the Nets in a potential deal. In earlier trade discussions, the Nets and Thunder had talked about a potential deal involving Lopez and Perkins, among other players, according to sources.
UPDATE, 9:40 a.m. ET: Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports that the proposed three-team deal may be dormant … for now
A trade that would have sent Charlotte Hornets shooting guard Lance Stephenson to the Brooklyn Nets has been put on hold, an informed NBA source told the Observer early Friday.
The Hornets, Nets and Oklahoma City Thunder were discussing a deal that would have sent Stephenson to the Nets, Brook Lopez to the Thunder and various parts to the Hornets. It appeared close Thursday night, but the Nets pulled back Friday, putting any discussions on hold.
The Nets have multiple options involving Lopez. It’s still likely they will move him.
The Hornets signed Stephenson in July to a three-year, $27.4 million contract with an out after the second season. It has been an awkward situation, where Stephenson has struggled to collaborate with new teammates. Both he and point guard Kemba Walker need the ball extensively to excel and that has made for an awkward situation.
Reports: Nets’ Lopez to Thunder in three-team deal; Perkins may move to Brooklyn, too — Oklahoma City is struggling to gain traction in the Western Conference playoff chase, but they can’t be faulted for standing pat. After acquiring Dion Waiters from the Cleveland Cavaliers roughly two weeks ago, the Thunder are in talks to try and land former All-Star center Brook Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets. The deal would also include the Charlotte Hornets, who would send Lance Stephenson to Brooklyn and would receive veteran guard Jarrett Jack from Brooklyn. OKC’s Jeremy Lamb and Grant Jarrett would head to Charlotte and, Thunder center Kendrick Perkins could be shipped out to Brooklyn, too.
Multiple outlets reported on the deal last night, but we’ll start with Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, who details the Nets’ intense desire to move Lopez:
The Brooklyn Nets have intensified trade discussions for center Brook Lopez and want to move him soon, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Nets, Oklahoma City Thunder and Charlotte Hornets began to gather traction on a three-way trade late Thursday afternoon, and planned to continue to discussions on Friday morning, league sources told Yahoo Sports. For the Nets, the biggest hurdle remained their willingness to take on combustible Charlotte guard Lance Stephenson, sources said.
Oklahoma City has been the most aggressive in its pursuit of Lopez, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Brooklyn has tried to find teams willing to move the expiring contract of Kendrick Perkins for an established player, sources said.
The Nets have delivered indications to teams they would like to settle on a trade by the weekend, league sources said.
The Hornets have a strong interest in making a deal for Lopez, but league sources believe the Nets are focused on dealing Lopez to the Western Conference, league sources told Yahoo.
Brooklyn officials have been re-canvassing the league for intel on Hornets guard Lance Stephenson, trying to measure the risk-reward of bringing him back to his hometown, league sources said. Charlotte and Brooklyn talked several weeks ago, but discussions cooled when the Nets were reluctant to acquire Stephenson as part of a broader package, league sources said.
The Nets have three max-contract salaries on the roster – Lopez, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson – and are motivated to shed two of the three before the Feb. 19 trade deadline, league sources said. Brooklyn has lost seven straight games to drop to 16-23, and owner Mikhail Prokhorov is pursuing a sale of the team.
Brooklyn has been unable lately to find any traction in talks to move Williams, league sources said.
The Nets have had discussions with Oklahoma City on Lopez, but the best chance for bringing back value on the former All-Star center could be gambling on the talent of Stephenson. There’s support for a Stephenson homecoming to Brooklyn on the ownership level but rival teams believe the front office is more cautious about taking on the volatile player.
USA Today‘s Sam Amick provides more on the Perkins angle, as well as what the trade means for Brooklyn and Charlotte:
If the deal remains in its current form, the person told USA TODAY Sports that Thunder center Kendrick Perkins likely would go to the Nets as well. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of trade talks.
The Nets clearly would be taking the biggest gamble in this deal, as Stephenson comes with a high-risk, high-reward quality that hasn’t panned out in Charlotte. After signing a three-year, $27 million deal (with a team option for the third) with the Hornets, he has been extremely inefficient (38.6% shooting overall and 15.1% from three-point range while averaging 10.1 points, 4.7 assists and 6.6 rebounds per game) and is widely known to have been a challenging presence in the locker room.
Still, the Nets badly wants to part ways with Lopez and his contract ($15.7 million this season, $16.7 million next season), and taking on Perkins and his expiring contract as part of the deal ($9.4 million) would certainly help their battered bottom-line.
The Hornets, meanwhile, are eager to part ways with Stephenson and would shore up their backcourt depth by making this move. Lamb, the third-year player out of Connecticut who was taken 12th overall by the Houston Rockets in 2012, has shown some promise but is the odd man out in the Thunder rotation right now. Jack, 31, would give them a productive veteran presence (10.8 points, 4.3 assists and 28.5 minutes per game this season) who — unlike Stephenson — would be a leader in the locker room.
ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard, who first reported the trade, says the Miami Heat have also shown interest in landing Lopez:
Sources confirmed a USA Today report that Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins could go to the Nets in a potential deal. In earlier trade discussions, the Nets and Thunder had talked about a potential deal involving Lopez and Perkins, among other players, according to sources.
The Hornets, who have been trying to move Stephenson for more than a month, want to make the deal, and Oklahoma City has agreed as well, leaving the Nets as the only holdout, according to sources.
Brooklyn also has had trade talks with the Miami Heat about Lopez, sources said.
The Nets made it known to other teams in early December that Lopez, point guard Deron Williams and swingman Joe Johnson were available via trade, and they recently had talks with the Sacramento Kings about Williams, according to sources.
The Nets (16-23) have lost seven straight games, and general manager Billy King has been active in looking to shake things up.