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Report: Nets discussing Brook Lopez trade with Thunder directly

Brook Lopez, Kendrick Perkins

Brooklyn Nets’ Brook Lopez, left, drives past Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kendrick Perkins during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)


The Nets are reportedly motivated to trade Brook Lopez.

That’s why their three-way trade with the Thunder and Hornets fizzling didn’t mean Lopez would stay in Brooklyn long.

Chris Broussard of ESPN:

Kendrick Perkins’ expiring contract would surely be necessarily to facilitate the deal, but it would still be difficult for Oklahoma City to aggregate enough salary to acquire Lopez while keeping the deal a straight dump for Brooklyn. The Thunder have such a deep roster, they’d almost have to include a player of value in the deal. They just don’t have enough dead weight around.

The lowest-impact deal I could find is Perkins, Nick Collison and Grant Jerrett for Lopez.

If Oklahoma City was willing to surrender Jeremy Lamb in the three-way trade, Brooklyn can probably get him now. Dion Waiters makes Lamb more expendable, and Lopez – despite his high salary and injury issues – is probably too good to just give away.

When healthy, Lopez is an impressive interior option. He’s averaging 14.6 points on 50.4 percent shooting and 6.3 rebounds per game this season, but he was an All-Star in 2013 and played even better before getting hurt last season.

His $15,719,062 salary would push the the Thunder further into the luxury tax, but clearing it – and his $16,744,218 player option for next season – would give the Nets immediate savings and future flexibility. That could mean quite a bit if the franchise is for sale.