Big moves went down yesterday! The Lakers made the first splash of the offseason by dealing D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Nets for Brook Lopez. There is plenty of hate for the Lakers going around after this move, but it really isn’t justified. This trade made a lot of sense for both sides.
Many fans don’t seem to recognize that teams build in different ways. The Nets can’t really attract free agents, so they have to build through young prospects and the draft. The Lakers on the other hand are like the Yankees. They may rebuild with some prospects, but they will always be looking to use their prospects to acquire big names.
Brook Lopez is currently only 29, and he is arguably the most dominant scoring center in the league. He adds a scoring presence in the center that the Lakers haven’t had since Shaq. On top of that, they were able to ditch the terrible contract of Timofey Mozgov. The Lakers did lose the young upside of Russell, but the addition of a talented veteran and cleared cap space has to make for that.
The Lakers are now in a fantastic position to pursue Paul George and/or Jimmy Butler. With Lonzo Ball at the point, and one of those stars added, LA will be well on their way to contention.
On the other side, the Nets were able to acquire a great young prospect, and they have $30 million in cap remaining, even after absorbing the Mozgov deal. D’Angelo could easily be a future star for the franchise, and frankly, that’s a position that he’ll thrive in. During the rest of the offseason, expect the Nets to continue to try to acquire bad assets, while gaining back some picks, and maybe getting some more young talent.