After New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez broke his foot Wednesday, leading to surgery on Friday that will most likely keep him sidelined until February; Nets General Manager Billy King said he would not make a panic move to get a replacement for his talented big man. The “Deseret News” has reported that King acquired a solid replacement to fill the void left by the injury to Lopez; as he has completed a trade with the Utah Jazz getting New Jersey veteran center Mehmet Okur in exchange for a salary cap exception and a second round pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
The move reunites Okur with former Jazz teammate Deron Williams, whom the Nets traded for in February. Although the 32-year-old native of Turkey is far from flashy, he was a key part along with Williams and forward Carlos Boozer that kept Utah a contender in the tough NBA Western Conference for many years. During his nine-year career in the Association, he has averaged 13.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game.
Jazz G.M. Kevin O’Connor told reporters that the key to the deal for his team was acquiring the salary cap exception from New Jersey. O’Connor said “The biggest reason is we were able to gain what we consider a valuable asset in the trade exception. We wouldn’t have made a deal unless we got something that’s an asset back.”
The veteran was selected in the second round of the 2001 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. After playing with the Pistons for two-years, and has played the last seven seasons with the Jazz.