ESPN The Los Angeles Lakers are trading D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and the 27th overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. The deal was first reported by The Vertical.
I have been saying for quite some time that the Brooklyn Nets need to move center Brook Lopez while he is healthy and still has value, in order to acquire assets to speed up their rebuilding process, and they finally made a move. The Brooklyn Nets let the league know that they were willing to absorb bad contracts if they got back a young player in return shipped Brook Lopez, and the Los Angeles Lakers were desperate to dump the horrible contract they signed Timofey Mozgov to last summer, so they ended up shipping the second overall pick in the 2015 Draft guard D’Angelo Russell l to Brooklyn to get the deal done and acquireed the and the 27th pick in Thursday night’s 2017 NBA Draft for their troubled.
This is a huge win for the Brooklyn Nets, while D’Angelo Russell has had highs and lows both on and off the court in two seasons with the Lakers, he is just 21-years-old and gives the Nets a potential star abs a legitimate building block for the future. D’Angelo Russell needed a change of scenery, he became expendable when the Lakers made it clear they would select Lonzo Ball second overall in Thursday’s NBA Draft, and Russell should have the chance to flourish in Brooklyn.
The Lakers were desperate to dump Timofey Mozgov’s horrific contract which has three years remaining, plus they have been trying to acquire another first round pick, so they thought they could accomplish both of those things while acquiring a proven veteran who can help them win now in Brook Lopez but it cost them Russell.
I do not get this trade from a Lakers standpoint, unless it leads to a bigger deal which lands Paul George or Jimmy Butler in Los Angeles, Brook Lopez is a good player on his prime but he has had several serious injuries in his career and is 29-years-old. Lopez helps you win now, but by the time that your new 19-year-old face of the franchise Lonzo Ball is ready to win, will Lopez still be playing at a high level? Brook Lopez is a free agent following next season, if the Lakers do not keep him, they just gave away a promising young star in D’Angelo Russell for a late first round draft pick and the ability to dump Timofey Mozgov’s contract. I get it. Lopez helps you win now if he’s healthy and his expiring contract frees up cap space if LeBron wants to finish up his career in Los Angeles, but is that a reality? The good news is, if the Lakers get Paul George, their roster could be good enough for a sixth seed in the West next season.
If this deal is about LeBron James, and the summer of 2018, it makes sense for the Lakers as Lopez is an expiring contract and Mozgov has two more years and a lot of money left on his deal after this season. I just find LeBron James spurning his hometown AGAIN, and leaving Cleveland AGAIN, hard to believe.
The Nets were not going to retain Brook Lopez after next season, they need to rebuild without draft picks due to the Celtics ripping them off in the worst trade in NBA history, taking on a bad contact was the only way for them to do it. They got a very talented 21-year-old guard in D’Angelo Russell, they only had one way to land a building block, and they pulled it off.
P.S. I hope that Mozgov didn’t sell his NYC apartment after his beginnings with the Knicks.