Sources: Nets back away from Brook Lopez trade talk with Thunder

Adrian WojnarowskiThe Vertical

After progressing in serious talks on a deal to send center Brook Lopez to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Brooklyn Nets backed away from discussions Friday afternoon, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

"Standing pat at this time," one Nets source told Yahoo Sports. "There was nothing we liked."

The Nets backed away from the idea of simply moving Lopez on a salary dump, without the ability to bring back value on his talent, league sources said.

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Nevertheless, discussions could begin again with a simple alteration of an offer, and the Nets' desire to move Lopez soon remains unchanged.

The Houston Rockets were also probing the Nets on Lopez too, league sources said. The Miami Heat have also remained connected to discussions on Lopez, sources said.

The Thunder and Nets were discussing a larger package for the one-time All-Star center that included guard Jeremy Lamb and center Kendrick Perkins from the Thunder, league sources said.

Brook Lopez was an Eastern Conference All-Star in 2013. (USAT)
Brook Lopez was an Eastern Conference All-Star in 2013. (USAT)

The Nets had been working to find a third team to take Perkins and his expiring contract, sources said, until discussions with the Thunder cooled.

Talks had gained traction Friday morning after the Nets refused to include Charlotte in a three-way deal that would’ve sent combustible guard Lance Stephenson to Brooklyn, sources said. Oklahoma City and Brooklyn have been talking on and off about a Lopez deal for several weeks, sources said.

After acquiring guard Dion Waiters recently, Oklahoma City has been trying to gear up for a run at the Western Conference championship with Lopez. General manager Sam Presti has long been a fan of Lopez, whom the Thunder considered selecting in the 2008 NBA draft at No. 4 overall. Presti chose Russell Westbrook with the pick instead.

There had been discussions on Lopez with Charlotte, Denver and the Los Angeles Lakers, but those didn't gain traction, league sources said.

Brooklyn officials had re-canvassed the league for intel on Stephenson, only to come away with the same conclusions as earlier trade talks this season: For them, he was too big of a risk.

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.

Lopez, 26, has a player option of $16.7 million on his contract for the 2015-16 season, which he's almost certain to exercise based on the foot injuries that have plagued him the past few years. Lopez makes $15.7 million this season. He was an Eastern Conference All-Star in 2013, but missed most of the 2014 season with a recurrence of a foot injury.

Charlotte has been desperate to move Stephenson, who has been unable to integrate himself into the franchise's culture under coach Steve Clifford. Stephenson, 24, signed as a free agent over the summer and has a guaranteed deal for the 2015-16 season and a team option for '16-17.

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