Nets acquire D'Angelo Russell, Timofey Mozgov from Lakers for Lopez, Pick
Sean Marks chose to sell high when he dealt Brook Lopez and the 27th pick to the Lakers in exchange for D'Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov.
The best way to improve the future of a team as dilapidated as the Nets is to take on bad contracts in exchange for young talent and/or draft picks.
Lopez's value was at an all-time high following a season in which he incorporated the three-point shot into his game.
The 29-year-old Center is set to earn $22.6 million in the final year of his contract. The 9-year veteran will be an unrestricted free agent in 2018.
Lopez had voiced a desire to be a part of the Nets rebuild, but Sean Marks could not hang his hat on that notion. The thought of losing Lopez and Jeremy Lin to free agency in 2018 was too nerve-racking for the Nets front office to handle.
In 9 seasons with the Nets, Lopez averaged 18.6 PPG and 7.1 RPG. Lopez claimed the top spot on the Nets' all-time leading scorers list with 10,444 career points throughout his career in Brooklyn.
The move by the Lakers is said to be an attempt to create a plethora of cap space for the 2018 offseason. Russell was a necessary price to pay in exchange for being renounced from Timofey Mozgov's absurd $64 million contract. Paul George and LeBron James are rumored to be serious targets of Los Angeles in 2018.
Brooklyn's willingness to include the 27th pick was reportedly the last step in finalizing the deal. Los Angeles is rumored to be shopping the 27th pick, 28th pick, Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson in exchange for Paul George. With Lopez likely to seek max money once again in the 2018 offseason, he may not be with the Lakers for long.
Brooklyn receives a young Point Guard with tremendous upside in D'Angelo Russell. The 21-year-old averaged 15.6 PPG and 4.8 APG in 28.7 MPG this past season. Russell displayed an ability to shoot from long range and find the open man when handling the ball throughout his sophomore campaign.
There were said to be some issues in Russell's rookie season under Byron Scott. However, the former second overall pick will have a fresh start in Brooklyn. Russell will have a chance to develop his offensive game and possibly move to shooting guard with the Nets.
Sean Marks may not be done making deals prior to the draft Thursday. Brooklyn will likely look to take on more bad contracts in exchange for draft picks or young prospects.