The Los Angeles Lakers have made their first official move of the offseason. The Lakers have traded center Timofey Mozgov and former 2nd overall pick D'Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets will send center Brook Lopez back to Los Angeles, as well as the 27th pick in Thursday's draft.
This move clears up a bad contract in Mozgov off the Lakers' books while the franchise continues to try and make a trade with the Indiana Pacers to land superstar Paul George. If the Lakers and Indiana Pacers don't reach an agreement, Los Angeles still put itself in good position by freeing up cap space for a pursuit of both LeBron James and George. The trade all but guarantees that the Lakers are dead-set on drafting Lonzo Ball with the 2nd overall pick in Thursday's draft, and that Los Angeles will not be parting with the pick in any potential upcoming trades.
For the Nets, Russell becomes the focal point of their rebuild. Russell's stock was low considering LA's interest in top prospect Lonzo Ball, so the Nets were able to grab a good, young piece without having to break the bank. For a team low on ways to improve, the Nets took a big step forward with this trade.