According to Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical at Yahoo Sports, the Los Angeles Lakers are trading Timofey Mozgov and D'Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and the no. 27 pick in Thursday's NBA Draft.
Wojnarowski is one of the most respected reporters in the business, so this isn't fake news. Take a breath.
The Lakers just offloaded one of the two contracts that expected to saddle the franchise in free agency for the next three years, but it seemingly cost them Russell. Mozgov's four-year, $64 million contract only lasted one year in LA. Lopez is due to earn $22.6 million in 2017-18, but he is off the books and would clear salary cap space for the team when LeBron James likely opts out of his contract in the summer of 2018.
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
In addition, the Lakers also secured the no. 27 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, meaning that LA now holds the no. 27 and no. 28 picks, along with the no. 2 pick. LA could use the two late first-round picks to strengthen its trade package for Indiana with the goal of bringing Paul George to the Lakers.
LA expects to keep hold of the no. 2 pick. Russell's departure means that the Lakers have a glaring hole in the back court at the point guard position, and there's a certain point guard out of UCLA that is projected to be the next young face of the Lakers' franchise. Yes, after Tuesday's report, Lonzo Ball joining the Lakers appears to be more likely than ever.
So, D'Angelo Russell's final play as a Los Angeles Laker was hitting a game winning 3-pointer.— Shahan Ahmed (@shahanLA) June 20, 2017
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However, the Lakers likely aren't done with the trade market just yet.