Lakers Trading D'Angelo Russell, Timofey Mozgov To Nets For Brook Lopez, Draft Pick

Ryan Phillips

D'Angelo Russell is on his way out of LA, as the Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly packaged the 21-year-old and Timofey Mozgov’s awful contract into a deal with the Brooklyn Nets. In exchange for Russell and Mozgov, the Lakers will receive Brook Lopez and the 27th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.


The Lakers dumped $54 million in salary thanks to Mozgov’s deal coming off the books and Lopez only has one year and $22.6 million left on his contract. That would clear a ton of cap space for Los Angeles next summer when they clearly intend to pursue Paul George and possibly make a move for LeBron James.

Lopez is 29, and averaged 20.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 blocks during the 2016-17 season. The Los Angeles native posted a PER of 20.48, which continued a steady decline since his career peak of 25.50 from the 2013-14 season. Still, this is a great deal for the Lakers.

In addition to Lopez, the Lakers got the 27th pick in Thursday night’s draft, which means they now have No. 2 plus 27 and 28 in the first round. They are rumored to be angling to move up for a second lottery pick, and adding the 27th selection should help them do that. A package of 27 and 28 plus a player could easily get them back into the top 10 to 15.

Of course, this move also all but ensures Los Angeles will select Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 pick.

The Nets get D’Angelo Russell, a guy who had some amazing moments but could never find consistency with the Lakers. The No. 2 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Russell languished in Byron Scott’s doghouse as a rookie and became a turnover machine in Luke Walton’s up-tempo style in 2016-17.

The Nets just got a player they can build around and the change of scenery might help him Russell find some consistency.