Lakers to ship Russell, Moz to Nets for Lopez

Rufina Vignone
Giugno 21, 2017

With Los Angeles preparing to draft second overall in Thursday's National Basketball Association draft, the Lakers agreed to a cost-saving trade that will send point guard D'Angelo Russell and center Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets, league sources told The Vertical.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade hadn't been consummated Tuesday.

On one hand, Russell averaged 15.6 points, 4.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game, numbers that only Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson matched as a Laker in his sophomore season. His role also became marginalized with both modest production (7.4 points, 4.9 rebounds) and the emergence of center Ivica Zubac.

The deal clears long-term cap space for the Lakers and positions them to make a big offer to George or another free agent next off-season.

Lopez's deal expires next summer ($22 million). It also increases their hopes of landing Paul George.

2 overall pick in the 2015 draft, all but assures that Los Angeles will select point guard Lonzo Ball of UCLA at No. 2 Thursday. He missed a chunk of the season with right knee tendinitis. However, we now have our first trade involving a player.

Replacing Russell and Mozgov with Ball and Lopez, who averaged 20.5 points per game a year ago, should allow the Lakers to take a step forward from last year's 25-57 record.

2 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, but they are not waiting until Thursday night to begin reshaping their roster.

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