D’Angelo to Brooklyn, Smart Move?
On a rumor frenzied Tuesday afternoon, news broke that the Los Angeles Lakers had swapped guard, D’Angelo Russell along with Timofey Mozgov’s horrific contract in return for Brook Lopez and the #27 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft from the Brooklyn Nets. Social media caught fire following the report with an abundance of mixed reactions. Although to many this may have been a questionable move but was this the right move for the Lakers new front office regime?
I have to admit that I was one of the few who actually believed in D’Angelo’s star potential. In spite of his inconsistent play, statistics don’t lie and Russell aligned himself amongst the top young guards in the league. However, he did not show enough leadership ability on a team that needed it the most which doesn’t translate well to any front office. In regards to Mozgov, his contract was in desperate need of removal, providing L.A. with a hefty amount of available cap space, potentially making room for Paul George and/or LeBron James next offseason.
As for the Lakers latest acquisition, Brook Lopez, whom is expected to be a rental unless he plans on taking less money next year, is a bonafide big man with excellent post-scoring ability and respectable range. Lopez will likely take on the scoring load, providing the young core with a true go-to man throughout the season, and if Lonzo Ball turns out to mirror a sliver of the hype that surrounds his game, the Lakers may very well be in the hunt for the 8th seed in the western conference.