The Los Angeles Lakers traded away two of the previous management’s most significant moves on Tuesday, while improving the team’s position for next summer in the free agency market.
While Magic Johnson the Lakers President of Basketball Operations and Rob Pelinka the general manager started negotiations to land Indiana Pacers star Paul George through a trade, the team sent Timofey Mozgov and D’Angelo Russell east to the Brooklyn Nets to clear another $22 million of space in its salary cap for the 2018 summer.
That summer the Lakers’ have targeted for a roster overhaul through the talented group of free agents that have ties to LA. The class includes the likes of George, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. George grew up in Palmdale, James has a Brentwood home and Westbrook attended UCLA.
Los Angeles can now offer a pair of maximum contracts in 2018, by trading Mozgov and Russell to Brooklyn for Brook Lopez and this year’s No. 27 overall pick.
Lopez will be in the last year of his current contract that is to pay him $22.64 for the 2017-18 season. The contract along with the style of play of Lopez is good for the Lakers. In 2013, he was an All-Star and led the league in attempts of three-point shots by centers hitting 34% of those.
As of late Tuesday, Los Angeles was set to choose No. 2, 27 and 28 in Thursday’s NBA draft. However, the Lakers have made attempts already to trade away their latest asset.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Lakers offered picks 27 and 28 to Indiana, along with guard Jordan Clarkson and forward Julius Randle for George, said someone not authorized to publicly speak about the matter.
While the Lakers will likely hold onto their No. 2 overall selection and take Lonzo Ball the former point guard at UCLA, they have not ruled out moving that pick if the right situation were to arise.
One report by a reporter from a cable television station said that Los Angeles had offered its No. 2 pick to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for the Kings two picks in the first round – No. 5 and No. 10.
However, that was declined by Sacramento, but other deals were in the works by the Lakers and much could change between now and the first pick in the Draft Thursday night in Brooklyn.