The Los Angeles Lakers are trading point guard D’Angelo Russell and center Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for center Brook Lopez and the No. 27 pick of the draft, The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday.
Lakers are trading Tim Mozgov and D'Angelo Russell to Nets for Brook Lopez and 27th pick Thursday, sources say.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 20, 2017
With the frenzy of trade rumors that have surfaced in preparation for Thursday’s NBA draft, we have our second trade of the offseason!
The Lakers have an array of young, talented players, but have lacked a veteran who is still in his prime and can still contribute at a decent level. Brook Lopez can that role for the team in the short-term, as he averaged a solid 20.5 points per game last season. The Lakers are preparing to add another young asset with their No. 2 pick of this year’s draft, and trading away Russell all but guarantees that the Lakers will likely select Lonzo Ball with that pick. Getting Mozgov’s remaining 3 years and $48 million off the books also aids the Lakers in having more cap room available heading into this year’s and next year’s free agency, as Lopez has just one remaining year on his contract. The additional draft pick from the Nets may possibly be used as a trade chip for the likes of, say, Paul George.
As for the Nets, after being one of the worst teams in the league for the last few years but void of any draft picks for the next couple years to help compensate, D’Angelo Russell is a nice, young player with star potential that the team can possibly build around. He was the No. 2 overall pick in 2015 for a reason, as he is a good scorer, a decent shooter, has excellent court vision, and can also distribute the basketball. At just 21 years old and with up to three years remaining on his rookie contract, the Nets will be able to give Russell the reigns and more freedom than he had with the Lakers, and see what he can do when given a bigger role.