Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
IN PHOTO: Nov 21, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) handles the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) during the first quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reuters

The NBA trade front was abuzz the last three days with a rumoured three-team exchange involving the Oklahoma City Thunder, Brooklyn Nets and Charlotte Hornets. Apparently, that trade talk is now dead as the Nets are choosing, for now, to stick with their star big man Brook Lopez rather than send him away for a salary dump.

The initial trade discussed had Lopez going to the Thunder; OKC’s Jeremy Lamb and another player moving to the Hornets; and Lance Stephenson going to his hometown Nets. Charlotte was the first to back out and the trade dwindled down to a straight up Nets-Thunder exchange involving the same players and now, Brooklyn also getting away from the negotiation table perhaps wanting to get more value from Lopez, who earns $15,719,063 this season and has $16,744,219 left in his contract before becoming a free agent after the 2015-2016 NBA season.

The proposed Nets-Thunder trade would have had Lopez going to the Thunder in exchange for Lamb ($2,202,000) and veteran centre Kendrick Perkins ($9,654,342). Apparently, the Nets realised they wanted more talent coming in and neither Lamb nor Perkins fit the bill of a long-term player who will help Brooklyn in the future.

The development is seen as a blow to the Thunder, which wanted to add another scorer in Lopez who was pegged to help them chase a playoff spot in the tough Western Conference. Before Friday’s games, the Thunder were in 10th place in the West with an 18-20 win-loss record and 3 and 1/2 games back off the Phoenix Suns for the eighth and final playoff spot in the conference.

The Thunder just recently acquired volatile wingman Dion Waiters to shore up their bench but adding Lopez would have addressed issues of more scoring and rebounding in the paint. It appears, Oklahoma City would have to look elsewhere if they want to improve their roster to chase for a playoff spot in the latter half of the season.

To reach author of this article, email