FILE - JULY 12, 2012: According to reports July, 12, 2012, the Brooklyn Nets have signed center Brook Lopez. .. ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 07: Brook Lopez #11 of the New Jersey Nets reacts after being called for a foul against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on December 7, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Brook Lopez's new contract has a 15% trade kicker if he's traded in the first three years of his four-year deal, according to league sources. Under the terms of the trade kicker, the team trading a player would have to pay him an bonus equal to 15% of what he's owed over the course of the contract, his "remaining salary."
Lopez signed a four-year, $60.8 contract two weeks ago. The final year of the contract is a player option at $16.7 million. The trade kicker covers only the first three years salary. (Generally, salary owed to players in option years is not included in the definition of "remaining salary.) Few players have such kickers. Deron Williams has a 15% trade kicker as well.
Because Lopez has a max contract like Williams, he can't make any more than the max salary. The kicker would seem to complicate trade scenarios involving Lopez. As Mark Deeks explains in ShamSports, a trade kicker "can only be bothersome to teams and emphatically benefit a player." And the question remains, why did Lopez want the kicker inserted?