Lakers Acquire Brook Lopez For Russell, Mozgov

JUNE 22: The trade is finally official, the NBA announced tonight during the draft. The Lakers used their newly-acquired 27th overall pick on Kyle Kuzma.

JUNE 20: The Lakers and Nets have reached an agreement on a trade that will send Brook Lopez to Los Angeles, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). Wojnarowski reports that the Lakers will also receive the No. 27 pick in this week’s draft, and will send D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Nets.BrookLopez vertical

This deal is a fascinating one on several levels. For the Lakers, they manage to cut long-term costs by getting out from under Mozgov’s contract, which still has three years and $48MM left on it. In Lopez, the Lakers will acquire a more productive player on the court, and one whose deal expires at the end of the 2017/18 season, setting the franchise up to create an extra chunk of cap room when LeBron James, Paul George, and other stars reach free agency.

In addition to picking up Lopez, the Lakers will also get a third first-round pick in this Thursday’s draft. The team now holds the second, 27th, and 28th overall selections, and with Russell no longer in the fold, it appears more certain than ever that Los Angeles has its eye on Lonzo Ball with that No. 2 overall pick.

Meanwhile, the Nets will finally bring years of Lopez trade speculation to an end, sending him to Los Angeles with one year remaining on his contract. In exchange for Lopez, a first-round pick, and their willingness to assume Mozgov’s huge contract, the Nets will land their point guard of the future in Russell, the second overall pick from the 2015 draft. The team also hangs onto its second 2017 first-round pick (No. 22).

Russell, who is still just 21 years old, has faced scrutiny about his work ethic and his drive, but his talent is undeniable. In 63 games last season for the Lakers, the young point guard averaged 15.6 PPG, 4.8 APG, 3.5 RPG, and 1.4 SPG in a modest 28.7 minutes per contest. He has also developed into a reliable three-point threat, averaging 2.1 threes per game at a rate of 35.2%. He’ll be under contract for at least two more years, becoming extension-eligible in 2018 and RFA-eligible in 2019.

With Russell and Jeremy Lin now in the mix, the Nets are unlikely to be in the market for a point guard this summer, which means another potential suitor is off the board for top free agents at the position seeking a payday. Brooklyn had been viewed as a potential player for George Hill, among other free agent point guards.

Finally, the Celtics will be watching the outcome of this trade with a close eye, since Boston may end up with both the Nets’ and Lakers’ first-round picks in the 2018 NBA draft. With the draft and free agency still to play out, it’s hard to tell at this point whether either team will improve significantly in 2017/18, but Lopez was the Nets’ most productive player last season, so this isn’t exactly a win-now move for Brooklyn — that bodes well for the C’s.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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111 thoughts on “Lakers Acquire Brook Lopez For Russell, Mozgov

  1. korn_cakes33

    Is that not an extreme overpayment for Lopez? Russell for Lopez just seems gross for LAL

    • jroseka

      Taking on Mozgov’s contract is a big part of this. Terrible contract and now LA has flexibility for PG and others.

      • Jmpshorty

        Yea I would look at it more as Russel for the 27th pick! I thought they could have worked the same type of deal with a team who has a higher draft pick.

          • KnicksCavsFan

            Dude….they just got rid of Mozgov. Huge win for the Lakers. Stupid move for the Nets but go figure.

            • bsteady7

              The Lakers just got rid of Mozgov’s deplorable contract for one year of Lopez. Collateral damage if you will. And got the 27th pick for DeAngelo Russell. An overpayment? Yes. But not a huge one. But it’s a good one because of 2 reasons: 1.)Mozgov’s contract and 2.)your position in this draft to select a PG if the future.

              • bsteady7

                And I believe Russell will be good for Brooklyn. He’ll be good enough to win a championship with. BUT! The other components being out there as well, is another question entirely.

      • Its the 27th pick. Unlikely to be an impact pick even in a deep draft. Even in deep drafts, the talent tends to drop off after the lottery picks.

        • liamsfg

          The Warriors don’t seem to have trouble finding talent, even in the 2nd round.

            • agentx

              Take it easy, gmflores27. While the Lakers didn’t get Draymond, they’ve had considerable success drafting in late 20s slots over the years.

        • hiflew

          The Spurs never seem to have a problem finding talent at the end of the first round.

    • sunshipballoons

      The big get for the Lakers is George/Lebron cap room. All they had to do is give up their backup PG of the future, and they got a bonus draft pick for their trouble.

  2. KCelts

    Pretty much all but certain Lonzo goes to LA now. That’s a gamble giving up on D’Angelo so early.

    • sunshipballoons

      This has nothing to do with Russell. Dropping him for Ball is the price they pay to dump Mozgov’s contract and hope to have Lebron and George cap room for 2018.

      Next up, give away Clarkson to get rid of Deng.

  3. Thronson5

    Wow! Who saw this coming!? They freed up he cap space, got another first round pick and somehow got rid of Mozgov! Part of me didn’t want to see Russell go but I get it that they had to do it to get rid of that Mozgov contract. Anyone else think his is setting up for a George or Butler trade?

    • jroseka

      Probably, but man I was hoping to see Russell come to the Pacers in that swap.

        • sunshipballoons

          Pacers will be able to get more (from somebody else) for Georg than Clarkson and Randle.

          • slapnuts

            I HIGHLY doubt that. Who is dumb enough give up anything more than that for a 1 year rental of PG?

            • sunshipballoons

              A team that could trade him to Cleveland for Kevin Love. Sixers? Suns? Probably some other options.

              • The only teams interested in trading for George are the Lakers and any championship caliber team who think they could convince George to stay. George isn’t going to resign with a rebuilding team so the Sixers and Suns are not viable options. As a Pacers fan I would love to see more than Clarkson and Randle coming back, but it’s unlikely unless Cleveland or a third team get involved.

                • formerlyz

                  As a pacers fan, considering the teams that can offer assets, and the 2-3 teams that would, would you do Tyler Johnson, Rodney mcgruder, Wayne Ellington (non guaranteed), mcroberts, and the 14th pick (would have to be taken for Indiana by miami before they can trade it) for Paul george? Of the teams that would offer assets for the 1 year, Boston is the obvious favorite,but what if they don’t want to risk it and would prefer butler, porzingis or someone else?

      • flipper

        funny you say that I thought a fair offer would have been DRussell + JRandle for PGeorge and Pacers #18 overall draft pick on Thursday. we’ve all heard of 1 of Randle or Clarkson + Lakers 28th but that’s nowhere near enuf so up it DRussell AND Randle but now get Pacers to include their mid 1st coming back which btw Lakers where looking for another 1st rounder even if they were hoping to get a top 12 pick. getting DRussell and JRandle seems like a decent get for the Pacers unless they can get KLove from the Cavs and then turn him into good young pkg to a 3rd team that’s better the Lakers duo I proposed

      • Via trade? Only way that would happen is if Ingram and the #2 pick were also traded. As a Pacers’ fan I’ve come to the conclusion that neither would be in a George deal, but if we’re assuming Clarkson, Randle, and one of the late first rounders go to Indiana, Chicago is going to ask for more than just Ingram or just the #2 pick. And Nance/the other first rounder isn’t enough imo. I don’t buy that the Bulls were only asking for the #3 pick in Butler talks with Philly and Boston.

        • Connorsoxfan

          Well you could send out Clarkson, Randle, and 27 for George. Then you could send Ingram, 2, and Deng for Butler, Payne, and Chicago’s first this year and right to swap next year. Chicago gets talent and a high pick, LAL clears more future cap space, and has a compelling big 3 that doesn’t actually absorb that much of the cap. Also, Payne was tight with Westbrook so that’s a draw when he’s an FA in addition to being from LA. The Bulls pick swap next year would be valuable because LA would be a playoff team but CHI wouldn’t be a bottom 3 team either with Wade, Ingram, and Ball. Not gonna happen I don’t see LAL paying that much for him and to dump Deng, but it’s intriguing.

          • sunshipballoons

            Pacers can do better than Clarkson, Randle and #27 for George elsewhere. At least this trade works under the cap, though.

            Maaaaaaaybe Chicago would trade Butler for #2 and Ingram, but they would not take Deng’s salary back in that deal and they would not give the Lakers a pick swap. That’s not nearly enough for Butler, and they can also do better elsewhere, unless they absolutely love Ball (or another player at #2). And this makes no sense for the Lakers, who would be stuck with Payne as their only NBA-caliber guard (and he’s not worthy of starting). Including Deng also makes this trade not work under the cap. Ingram and Clarkson + pick for Butler and Payne works.

            I guess in this world, Butler is a full time SG, which doesn’t seem like a great position for him, especially as he ages. The 2018-19 Lakers end up with two SFs playing out of position (Lebron at PF and Butler at SG), plus they end up with four guys whose game is entirely premised around having the ball in their hands. In short, Ball-Lebron-George or Ball-Lebron-Butler might work. But all four of them sounds like a terrible idea to me.

              • sunshipballoons

                For that deal to work, you’d have to add Tarik Black from the Lakers and Harrell from the Rockets. But Houston wouldn’t do that because a 4 with no perimeter game is pretty much useless in D’Antoni’s offense.

          • slund24

            Lakers can’t trade the right to swap picks next year. They don’t have a pick. They dont have a pick of their own to trade until 2020.

  4. Sports

    Great way to dump salary, & have a year rental on Lopez. Opens the spot for George. Guarantees Ball will be drafted

    • Jmpshorty

      Thing is too. Lopez could possibly not be a rental. He is in a contract year and if lakers like him they could try and sign him. Obviously he isn’t worth 22 a year but maybe half that? Could be interesting

      • Doubt he signs for $11m a year when worse centers (like Mozgov or Mahinmi) are getting more. Lopez doesn’t bring a whole lot in terms of rebounding or defense, but he’s a solid enough shot blocker and a really good offensive player to be worth what those two bigs got last offseason.

        • frankgrimes

          Mos and Mahinmi got paid when the cap ballooned. The market isn’t going to be flooded with cash like that when Lopez signs and with all the small ball being played centers that can guard the pick and role aren’t going to get paid. So Lopez signing for 11 mil after this year isn’t too unbelievable.

  5. bdelamare

    Good deal for lakers. Get a solid center. Get rid of mozgoz contract, they save money. Get another first round pick to possibly trade for goerge.

  6. stretch123

    This might end up being a good deal if PG actually comes to Laker land… but this will haunt them if Russell breaks out in Brooklyn and Ball ends up being mediocre, which is a very likely scenario…

  7. Freddie Morales

    Hate to see Lopez go but they needed some interior D and I think mozgov can rebound from a poor first season with LA. And Russell can be a very good PG on this team

  8. Curious deal for the Lakers, but this could be a win-win. Nets gets a solid young guard to build around while the Lakers get rid of Mozgov’s deal. Although if the Lakers don’t make a splash this offseason or next offseason with the money that is freed up from Mozgov’s deal, then this was a bad deal. Lucky for them they have plenty of time to make something happen.

  9. acarneglia

    Great job Brooklyn! Russell can join the collection of young talent with Hollis-Jefferson, and Levert. It was smart to trade Brook when his value was highest. The loss of the pick isn’t a huge deal with getting Russell in return and they have the cap space to take on Mozgov’s contract. I don’t see them keeping Lin now unless they want to play him as SG, but that’d take time away from the young guys.

    • acarneglia

      Lopez could go with another player to Indy now for Paul George if they were serious about getting him this year.

      • Unless that other player is Ingram (who is understandably untouchable) the Pacers are better off with the Clarkson/Randle/late first rounder offer. Lopez wouldn’t fit next to Turner and he would be gone at the end of the year anyway. Even Lopez plus Clarkson or Randle is worse than Clarkson/Randle/late first rounder.

      • sunshipballoons

        Why would the post-George Pacers want Lopez on a one-year deal? If they trade George, they are tanking. Then again, Lopez plays the same position as the Pacers clear best player other than George, so I guess maybe trading for him doesn’t really stop the tanking. But he’s not an asset for them either. The Lakers would be outbid for George.

        • frankgrimes

          Lopez could net them a better pick at the deadline for a team looking to clear cap space. I could see Portland sending them some assets to get cap relief

  10. mikey

    Good for the nets too. While Lopez is good, the nets now have a player to build their future around, while Lopez was already at his time and not going to give any more.

  11. dodgerfan711

    This is why mitch and jim dont run things anymore. Honestly i dont think its a bad trade because Ball is going to just fit right in at pg.

      • dodgerfan711

        Lakers valued the salary dump more than the return. This morning lakers were shopping dlo for a lottery pick. If someone was willing to give it up lakers would have done it.

  12. GritNGrind81

    I think this is a good deal for both sides…better for the Lakers because they get out from under Mozgov’s deal. Russell obviously needed a change of scenery and with the Nets he can be a focal point for a talent deficient roster. I like Lopez—essentially a try out year for him. If he works out I can see him getting extended.

    • How’d the Nets get robbed? They gave up the 28th pick and Lopez (who wasn’t going to fit into their plans long term) for Russell. Their pick next year is going to the Celtics no matter what so they needed to add young talent as quickly as possible.

  13. Z-A

    Head scratcher one was the Mozgov signing and now they gave up a promising young guard to get rid of him. Lol Phil Jackson type of GMing.

    • Totally agree, but if Ball/Fultz were the intended draft targets and the Lakers were able to acquire PG, then it makes some sense. Russell would’ve been the odd man out in that scenario and his value would likely just drop further.

    • formerlyz

      Different front office. Nobody can compete with Phil jacksons need to sign Noah for 4 years at healthy market money, and then attempt to attach him to porzingis to dump him lol

    • arodgers661

      None of these players wer signed or drafted by magic. It’s a lot different from Phil. He signed both prozingis and Noah. Magic is trying to clean up the mess left by kupcheck

  14. Compton

    Russel is garbage! He is an arrogant player who already thinks he is too good to take criticism and make others better. Im ecstatic to see him go along with the Mozgov contract. Lopez is one of the best offensive centers in the league and could be flipped in the right deal for more assets.

    • Lopez isn’t going to garner much in a deal for more assets. He’s a free agent at the end of the year and no one is giving up attractive assets for a rental with a bad injury history. Even if he was flipped to a contender (in which case the best case scenario would be another late first rounder or bench-warmer young player coming back), I don’t see any contending team seeing him as a final piece to pushing them past the Warriors or Cavs. Warriors don’t need him and the only way the Cavs would want him is if Love gets traded, but he still wouldn’t push the Cavs past the Warriors.

      • frankgrimes

        No his expiring contract is worth something I could see the lakers getting something for him for a team looking to get cap relief. They would have to take on salary witch would defeat the purpose of get out from under moz but i
        it gives them options

    • Chris

      True. And while he worked better as a 2 guard, there’s not enough balls around IF the Lakers get George. I love D’Angelo, but if they really believe in Ingram, I’m okay with this

    • liamsfg

      Russel needs to grow up. The Lakers are smart by nipping that behavior of his in the bud.

      You like to party too much and can’t take critism? Ok we’ll send you to Brooklyn HAHA. Magic ain’t playin.

      Russel made his bed now he must lay in it.

      • gmflores27

        Meanwhile Brooklyn has one of the best player development systems in the league and Sean Marks has developed a player friendly environment where everyone is a family. Meanwhile in Laker Nation if your don’t put up at least 15 points a game you are nothing

  15. Compton

    People complaining about value obviously don’t understand how much Deng and Mozgov’s contracts handcuffed the Lakers for the next 3 years.

  16. Compton

    Russel will never be a superstar, he will be lucky to be a poor mans Lou Williams/Jamal Crawford.

    • Considering that Russell is nothing like Lou Williams/Crawford, your comparison is pretty bad. Lou Williams is an all-offense-no-defense undersized guard who is a volume scorer. Crawford is in the same boat, all offense but no defense. Russell is at least young enough to develop a respectable defensive game.

      • Chris

        He’s young enough, but he surely hasn’t shown it thus far. I loved the talent and promise, but if this is the beginning of moves that get us back to winning I’m okay with it

      • Compton

        Considering that Russel hasn’t played defense in his 2 years in the league it is a solid comparison. Why are some people so stupid?

        • Connorsoxfan

          Well he’s actually a solid passer too, he’s halfway between Rondo and Jamal Crawford.

      • gmflores27

        Russell is only 20 and this proves how lakers fans are worse than Cleveland or GSW stans

    • Compton

      This deal has nothing to do with Ball. It is all about Russel’s attitude and moving one of the worse contracts in the league.

      • Its entirely about Ball. Keeping Russell gives the Lakers options on who to take with the 2nd pick. Trading Russell all but assures that the Lakers are taking Ball or Fultz (likely Ball). If Ball turns out to be a bust then this looks like a bad deal in hindsight unless Russell is out of the league in a few years. And if Russell ends up being better than Ball? Then it’ll be a terrible deal.

  17. formerlyz

    Wow…this is a really good deal for the Lakers. They got rid of Mozgov, opened up that long term money, got a really good offensive 5 that can also stretch the floor, and they got a 1st round pick out of it. They gave up Russell, but I didn’t expect that even he could get them that for Mozgov…it also pretty much guarantees they’re taking Lonzo Ball at 2. Some interesting options for them late in the 1st round. Wonder if they keep all the picks. There are some good defensive bigs available in that range

    Meanwhile, the Nets get Russell, which was clearly their objective. His skill set is currently a little redundant with Lin, but he fits them offensively in either guard spot, and I think this may be the opportunity he needed to mature. Also puts him around a lot of shooters

  18. emac22

    How did the Lakers get the best player in the deal, the only pick in the deal and still manage to dump a bad contract?

    • Because they gave up Russell, who is younger than Lopez and Mozgov and still has plenty of time to develop. The late first round pick is unlikely to turn into anyone spectacular (unless its flipped in another deal) so the Lakers are giving up the player with the most upside in the deal for what is essentially long term cap space.

  19. mitt24

    Okay so this ensures the lakers will pick ball. So Fultz, Ball, then the Celtics. Bulls and knicks expressed an interest in Josh Jackson. Tatum should be available at 6. I could really see the celtics trading down yet again. I could see the Knicks trading for the 3rd pick and giving up their pick and more. The Celtics could then offer the 8th overall pick and possibly a Marcus smart to the kings. They would bite. Celtics get their man. And potentially 3 other picks. Take the picks and trade for any player you want. Andre Drummond is my sleeper to join the Celtics

  20. GuruGray

    This trade is purely a salary dump for the Lakers and a good move for the Nets to get a good young player since they won’t be able to draft one

    • Z-A

      Lopez is a now Stretch-5 getting 20 a game. And only 29. He’ll have to be re-upped though. That contract will be ugly.

  21. Good job Magic! Got rid of that ridiculous
    Contract in mozgov plus a upgrade in the
    Center position. And the27th pick, we’re
    Just starting. Ha-ha

  22. 1980MVP

    Total contract dump but kind of costly. But what can you do. Let me say something that probably no one will agree on. I take D’Aaron Fox over Ball. That kid from the little I’ve seen has big time heart, tons of confidence. Loads of speed seems to have a good shot. He doesn’t look like a dear in headlights. I really think the kid has what it takes to be a leader. Anyone?

    • formerlyz

      My comment below was meant to be a reply lol…but ya, I really like Fox, and he interviews off the charts for me too. The shot is the only question, but he improved as the year went on

  23. formerlyz

    Honestly, I’ve said the lakers should take Jackson/fox over ball at 2 for a while. I still think ball will at least have a decent career, and if the jump shot actually works for him in the NBA, he should be an offensive star, but those other 2 are higher on my board

    • 1980MVP

      Fox just strikes me as someone not afraid, upbeat and I think he’s willing to take responsibility and learn from mistakes, without pouting about it. Only real concern is the body is kind of thin and if he’s going to drive the lane he’s going to take some hard knocks. But hell hes only 19, I think he’ll do what he needs to to be in the best NBA size he needs to be in for not only his style but the long haul of a NBA season.

  24. Z-A

    Now the Laker’s pick for the Sixers isn’t going to look so hot. Not going to convey to the Celtics for sure.

  25. colt.45

    Brook Lopez is turning 30 this year and remains a top 5 center in the league. Lopez has 3 prime years ahead of him and is coming off his best season.

    Russell has shown that he isn’t a primary playmaker and is a poor defender. Trading him clears room for Lonzo.

    This was a great move for both sides, but I like the Lakers investing in one of the premier and most underappreciated talents in the league. Lopez will get the respect he deserves on prime time television next season.

  26. bballblk

    Hey, the Lakers got more than a package of Nabisco crackers for D’Angelo Russell

  27. gmflores27

    What a move by Sean Marks… D’Lo can be a franchise player for the Nets with their development system. Meanwhile people think he should be upset about this yet the Lakers are nearly as bad as the nets were last season so not much of a change for him despite the better FO and coaching

  28. xabial

    Unloading that albatross contracts given by the previous regime is a good reason to trade Russell.

    Not to mention, Being in a position to draft the “best passing PG prospect of this generation” that plays the same position as Russell, helped make the decision to trade him much easier.

    Ball’s arguably a way better prospect then Russell at this point of their careers.

    Why do the basketball Gods always look down and smile at the Lakers?

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