The Los Angeles Lakers engaged the Brooklyn Nets in exploratory talks in early December regarding a possible swap of Pau Gasol and Brook Lopez, but the Nets balked at the offer, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
The discussions occurred before Lopez went down for the season with yet another foot injury, so there's little chance of anything coming to fruition at this point. The Lakers also recently took Gasol off the trading block, and the 33-year-old is dealing with health issues of his own.
Considering the timing of the talks, it made perfect sense for the Nets to scoff at this proposal, although it's unclear what other sweeteners the Lakers were willing to include. While Lopez certainly had his injury issues, he was playing some of the best ball of his career when he was able to stay on the floor this season. Why in the world would the Nets trade a good 25-year-old big man sporting a PER close to 26 for a declining Gasol?
Perhaps a trade would make more sense from the Nets' point of view now that Lopez has suffered another brutal foot injury. With his and the team's future in major doubt, maybe the Nets give up on Lopez, clear the $32.5 million he's owed the next two seasons after this one and take on an expiring contract in Gasol.
But even that seems silly for Brooklyn and a trade at any time for Lopez would signal an apparent shift in philosophy for Los Angeles. The general consensus is the Lakers want to make a big splash in the summer of 2015, and taking on a player like Lopez would hinder that. While Lopez is certainly an excellent player when healthy, his inability to stay on the floor is a red flag.