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Was three-way deal with Thunder and Hornets that close?

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Lot of smoke, no fire.

Ric Bucher is reporting that while there were talks among the Nets, Thunder and Hornets, their intensity and urgency were overrated.

One league source says the three-way deal that was to send Brook Lopez to Oklahoma City and Lance Stephenson to Brooklyn was never that close. "They didn't want [Kendrick] Perkins or Lance," the source said of the Nets. That doesn't mean a deal still couldn't be rekindled with other parts and trade partners.

Indeed, a league source sarcastically told NetsDaily, "I guess if everyone keeps saying this team or that team is targeting Brook, eventually someone will be right."

The rumored deal would have sent Stephenson to Brooklyn, Lopez to the Thunder and various Nets and Thunder players – including Jarrett Jack and Jeremy Lamb – to the Hornets. In one version, Perry Jones III would have joined the Nets, in another OKC rookie Grant Jerrett. There was also a suggestion that Perkins could be flipped for Thaddeus Young.

Bucher says the Nets' hanging around the eighth seed in the East complicates the Nets strategy. The Nets despite the poor play of late are still in the playoff hunt.

One wrinkle is that the Nets are still in contention for a playoff spot, which has GM Billy King reluctant to simply hold a fire sale. If that changes in coming weeks, it's far more likely King wouldn't hold out for talent and would accept future assets instead.