Lakers-Nets close to deal featuring Brook Lopez, D’Angelo Russell
The Los Angeles Lakers are trading D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and the 27th overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
The deal was first reported by The Vertical.
Russell, the second overall pick in the 2015 draft, averaged 15.6 points and 4.8 assists this past season. The Lakers have the No. 2 pick in Thursday’s draft and could be in line to take former UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball.
Lopez, 29, was a standout for the Nets in 2016-17 as he averaged 20.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 blocks. He also became a threat from 3-point range as he attempted 387 shots from behind the line and made 34.6 percent of them.
He enters 2017-18 in the final season of his contract, signed in July 2015, which will pay him $22.64 million next season.
Mozgov is entering the second year of a four-year, $64 million contract.
The deal gives the Lakers significant cap room next summer. With close to $60 million off the books by that time after Tuesday’s deal, they could chase one or two max free agents.
Indiana Pacers superstar Paul George already has indicated he would like to join the Lakers when he hits free agency in 2018. George is from the Los Angeles area.
But George could be L.A.-bound before that. The Lakers and Pacers already have had trade discussions regarding the All-Star forward as part of a potential megadeal ahead of Thursday’s draft.