Latest reports have confirmed that the Los Angeles Lakers will be trading D'Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Brook Lopez. It can be recalled that the team had so many expectations with Russell when they selected him second overall in the NBA Draft last 2015.
This latest trade news in the NBA was confirmed by ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne as she noted that the Lakers were possibly incentivized to make the trade happen. Fox Sports claimed that the team wants to get out from the remaining three years of Mozgov's $64 million contract.
Meanwhile, Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets will earn $22.6 million in the final year of his contract with the team. After this, he will already become an unrestricted free agent in the year 2018. Since Lopez is already on an expiring deal, Lakers wanted Russell out of the picture.
It can be recalled that Russell's first season in the NBA was not that smooth and good because of his off-court incident with Nick Young and his stint in former Lakers coach, Byron Scott. But he still played on his own until the team replaced Scott with Luke Walton.
Apart from this D'Angelo Russell also suffered from calf and knee injuries which limited him to only 63 appearances during the past season. But he still remained unaffected and went on averaging 15.6 points and 4.8 assists plus his 35.2 percent shooting from three.
Because of this, some sports analysts claimed that Russell might be better suited as a shooting guard than a point guard. It was very evident that he is also capable of doing shot-up shooting who can also utilize the threat of taking the defenders off the dribble.
Apart from Russell and Mozgov, Lakers were also looking for the possibility to trade the No.27 and No.28 picks in the 2017 NBA draft together with Jordan Clarkson in order to acquire Paul George of the Indiana Pacers. With Russell's moving to the Brooklyn Nets, he needs to develop more on his late-season success.