On Tuesday, Adrian Wojnarowski — of The Vertical — reported that the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets made the second trade of the summer.
The deal will send Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell and center Timofey Mozgov to the Nets. In exchange, the Nets send center Brook Lopez and the 27th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft to the Lakers.
For the Lakers, this is the franchise’s third pick of this year’s draft (L.A. also owns the No. 2 and No. 28 picks).
To add on, the Lakers also receive a proven big man that can score. Lopez even added a three-point game to his arsenal, this past season, as well (34.6 percent from beyond the arc).
At seven feet tall, Lopez does all of his work on the offensive side, but has never proven to be a strong rebounder; rebounding being a statistic that the Lakers were average at last season (43.5 rebounds per game, 17th in the NBA).
Last season, Lopez averaged 5.4 rebounds per game, the second-lowest mark of his career.
On the flip side, the Nets receive Russell who — just like Lopez — is a scorer. Russell is not the best rebounder or passer but has a knack for scoring the basketball.
Last season, Russell averaged 15.6 points per game, leading the team in that category after shooting guard Lou Williams was traded to the Houston Rockets.
On defense, Lopez proved to be the better player. In 2016-2017, players shot 46.3 percent when he guarded them — while players shot nearly 50 percent (49.1 percent) when Russell was the defender.
In the end, it seems that Los Angeles won the trade between the two teams, as the Lakers unloaded salary (Russel, $5.1 million per year; Mozgov, $14.99 million per year) to add assets for the future.
“For the Lakers, the move is part of a long-term play to clear space for Paul George, who has expressed a desire to play for Los Angeles, and pursue LeBron James, who is expected to be a free agent in 2018.” – Adrian Wojnarowski
For the Nets, trading Lopez released a lot of cap space for that franchise as well. Wojnarowski reported that the Nets would save nearly $30 million this summer (the same amount that the Los Angeles will have in cap room next summer) by dealing the “face of the franchise.”