The Nets and Thunder are negotiating a trade that would send Brook Lopez to Oklahoma City.
To make salaries match, the Thunder would certainly ship out Kendrick Perkins.
But Brooklyn doesn’t actually want Perkins. The Nets just want his expiring contract to help facilitate the deal.
That’s why Perkins might not be long for Brooklyn (if he gets there at all).
Marc Stein of ESPN:
The Nets apparently aren’t in complete cost-cutting mode in preparation for a sale. Thaddeus Young, who makes slightly more than Perkins this season, also has a $9,971,739 player option for next season. With the salary cap set to skyrocket in 2016, there’s a good chance he opts in, which would increase Brooklyn’s expenditures.
But the Nets would get something in return – a player who could help them now. Young’s numbers are down in Minnesota (13.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game), but he’s a solid option at power forward who can score a number of ways.
The Timberwolves essentially surrendered a Heat first rounder (via the Cavaliers) to get Young in the Kevin Love trade. It was a misguided attempt at trying to make a playoff push this season, and Flip Saunders deserves blame for it. But also give him a little credit for realizing it’s time to cut bait on that plan and focus on rebuilding around Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio, Shabazz Muhammad, Zach LaVine and Gorgui Dieng. Whatever draft pick or younger player Minnesota would get for Young would only help.
As for Perkins, there’s a decent chance the Nets would buy him out if they can’t flip him before the trade deadline. The Timberwolves would almost certainly buy him out if he winds up in Minnesota. That’d give him a chance to sign with a contender for the rest of the season. If this winds up a three-way trade, Perkins could not re-join the Thunder. However, if Perkins is traded in two distinct deals – to Brooklyn then to Minnesota – and then waived, the rules would prevent him re-joining only the Nets. The NBA might step in and block his return to Oklahoma City anyway, but it would be an interesting test case if Perkins wanted to sign with the Thunder.