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#pounditTuesday, November 30, 2021

Report: Mavs were unwilling to give up No. 9 pick for D’Angelo Russell

Many saw the return that the Los Angeles Lakers got from the Brooklyn Nets for D’Angelo Russell as somewhat low, but that may have had something to do with his perceived trade value around the league.

Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan reported on Tuesday that the Dallas Mavericks were unwilling to give up the No. 9 pick in this year’s draft for Russell.

The 21-year-old Russell, himself an ex-No. 2 pick, was traded with Timofey Mozgov’s albatross contract to the Nets for Brook Lopez, still an All-Star caliber big but one whose contract expires in a year, and a late first-rounder.

Russell doesn’t have the most well-rounded game, and he was knocked on multiple occasions for a lack of maturity during his two years with the Lakers. But Russell’s upside remains quite high as a scorer and a pick-and-roll creator, and he can’t even become a restricted free agent until 2019.

In fairness, the Mavs seem to have another young point guard in their sights with the No. 9 pick. But this all probably just goes to show how perfect a trade partner the Nets, an awful team in dire need of talent and one with enough cap space to absorb some bloated contracts, were for the Lakers.

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