The D’Angelo Russell era in Los Angeles ends before it could really ever begin. The Los Angeles Lakers traded the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets in a shocking Tuesday deal in exchange for Brook Lopez and the No. 27 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
The deal seemingly came out of nowhere. With the Lakers heavily pursuing Indiana Pacers star Paul George, nobody saw this move coming. Many wondered if Russell would be involved in a trade for George, but not in a salary dump to shed the contract of Mozgov.
General manager Rob Pelinka and president of basketball operations Magic Johnson appear to have some sort of plan in place, no matter how far into wonderland they pulled it from. They want George now and LeBron James to follow next summer as he hits the free agent market. Sound familiar?
Will this type of move come back to haunt the Lakers yet again? Or can they finally land a marquee free agent for the first time since Shaquille O’Neal came aboard in 1996?
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