Lakers are trading Tim Mozgov and D’Angelo Russell to Nets for Brook Lopez and 27th pick Thursday, sources say.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 20, 2017
The Lakers got rid of Mozgov’s big contract, shedding 54 million from it. Shedding that gives them more cap space to go out and get Paul George next offseason. George told the Pacers that he will not re-sign with them when he becomes a free agent and would prefer to play for the Lakers. He and the young Laker core could go far in the NBA.
Now, some casual Laker fans might be sad that Russell is gone and so they should be, he is a nice young player, but the Lakers are likely going to take UCLA guard Lonzo Ball with the second pick in the draft. While Los Angeles have said that they are not that impressed with Ball, most believe that the front office was just throwing smoke screens to the Boston Celtics who had the number one pick. Ever since they traded it to the Philadelphia 76ers, who will likely take Markelle Fultz first, the slander for Ball has gone quiet.
The Lakers still have a big contract in Luol Deng that has an annual salary of $18 million that they will likely still try to trade. Brook Lopez will be an unrestricted free agent after this season so if they want to re-sign him and Paul George they will have to get rid of Deng. A group of Lonzo Ball, Jordan Clarkson, Paul George, Julius Randle, and Brook Lopez would be a scary starting five.
For the Nets, they helped themselves out too. They finally have a good young player with some potential to build around. They made one of the worst trades in NBA history a while back and gave the Boston Celtics a bunch of their first round picks. They traded for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and they both left after one year. As a result they became the worst team in the league and don’t even get their own pick until the year after next. If they can find some gems in the second round that would boost their rebuilding process. The Nets’ coach Kenny Atkinson should help out Russell a lot. They can use Timofey Mozgov as a replacement for Lopez and another veteran.
All in all this trade should help both teams out.