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#pounditFriday, January 22, 2021

Lakers trading D’Angelo Russell, Timofey Mozgov to Nets for Brook Lopez, pick

D'Angelo Russell vein

The Los Angeles Lakers are making some moves ahead of Thursday’s NBA Draft.

According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers are trading D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and the 27th pick in Thursday’s draft.

Russell was the No. 2 overall pick by the Lakers in 2015, but he could become expendable if the team is planning on selecting Lonzo Ball No. 2 overall on Thursday.

Mozgov has three years and $48 million remaining on his contract, so he is a salary dump. Lopez meanwhile is under contract for just over $22 million next season and then is set to become a free agent.

If the Lakers are planning on taking Ball, then trading away Russell allowed them to get Mozgov’s contract off the books — no small feat. They also will have Lopez’s expiring contract, which will give them lots of salary cap flexibility next offseason, when they will likely try to sign Paul George to a big deal. And in the meantime, Lopez is still an effective big man.

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