The Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets have agreed to a deal that will send point guard D’Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets for center Brook Lopez and the 27th overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. The Lakers dealt center Timofey Mozgov to the Nets as well. Russell, who is entering his 3rd year in the league, averaged 15.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game this past season. Brook Lopez continued to prove he is a solid big man that can score the ball by averaging 20.5 ppg for the 2016-17 season.
For the Nets, they get a guard in D’Angelo that believes he can be the star player for a team. In his first two seasons, he has played well, but the Lakers franchise has big plans with the draft approaching and is clearing cap room to add star talent around their newest draftee.
The Lakers in return get a big man that can play at an all-star level along with enough years of experience. If the team drafts former UCLA guard Lonzo Ball as many believe they will, the move will give Lonzo more of a chance to have control of the ball. Lopez will provide size and the necessary help on the scoring end for a young guard like Ball.
For the newest president of basketball operations for the Lakers, Magic Johnson, it is the first big trade he’s made since taking the position. The Lakers have been busy over the last couple of weeks working out prospects to get a good idea of who they may want to take in this Thursday’s draft. Last week they were able to work out Markelle Fultz and it was rumored that Magic was very impressed and interested in drafting him. However, the Philadelphia 76ers jumped in and offered the Celtics a better deal to secure the No. 1 overall pick, which they intend to use to draft Fultz.
This past weekend, Pacers forward Paul George expressed his interest in signing with the Lakers when his contract is up in 2018. The deal for George has a good chance of happening before that depending on how much the Lakers front office is eager to make a deal.
As far as the move for Lopez goes, it should be an overall good deal for a young core that desperately needs veteran leadership.
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