Lakers trade D’Angelo Russell, Timofey Mozgov to Nets for Brook Lopez, 27th pick
The Lakers were looking to unload the Timofey Mozgov mistake they made last summer and start to clear out cap space for a push next summer.
The Brooklyn Nets were looking to move the expiring contract of Brook Lopez — and his quality offensive big man play — for a promising young player. Say, for example, D'Angelo Russell.
Those two sides have reached an agreement, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
The Lakers now have the No. 2, 27, and 28 pick in the first round (28th was Houston’s they got in the Lou Williams trade). Expect them to try and use those picks in a deal to get Paul George (throwing in Julius Randle or Jordan Clarkson), something Marc Stein of ESPN noted, but I doubt that’s enough.
As noted, for the Lakers this move is about clearing the way for Lonzo Ball, and to clear cap space in 2018 to chase LeBron James and, sign/re-sign Paul George. It’s a smart play by the Magic/Pelinka front office that could have the Lakers as a contender in 2018-19 if the dominos all fall, but the price is fairly high because Russell has potential.