Magic Johnson is already making moves as president of basketball operations, living up to his commitment to making the Lakers great again.
Of course, this was a small move, but it could have a snowball effect.
The Lakers announced on June 20 that they will trade D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and the 27th overall pick in this year’s draft.
After failing to lure the coveted Kevin Durant to Los Angeles, the Lakers’ front office panicked and signed Mozgov to a $64 million, 4-year contract. Los Angeles has failed to attract big-name free agents since they signed Dwight Howard in 2012.
This trade gives the Lakers a younger, more talented center than Mosgov in Lopez. The former Brooklyn Center has averaged 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds during his career, according to nba.com.
The trade also freed up a lot of cap space for the Lakers in 2018, potentially to sign Paul George.
Continue reading to learn other implications of this trade has for the Lakers…
The Lakers will pick 2nd, 27th, and 28th in this year’s draft. However, the most important pick is the number two pick.
The biggest draft question everyone has had about the Lakers is: Will they draft Lonzo Ball? After getting rid of Russell, it seems certain they will.
Ball has been a polarizing athlete, mainly because of his father, Lavar Ball. He has also been labeled by many NBA analysts as a transcendent talent, being compared to NBA legends like Jason Kidd and even Magic Johnson himself.
This trade also seems to be the beginning of a turnaround in recent efforts to attract free agents. Paul George is most likely going to end up in Los Angeles (maybe even this year), and LeBron James is also rumored to be interested in signing with the Lakers in 2018.
We will see how it pans out, but this looks like a small victory that could lead to an even bigger victory for the Lakers.