Kenny Atkinson: it’s a great second opportunity for D’Angelo. When i talked to him immediately after the trade, I felt like he was so enthusiastic. Luke [Walton] is a helluva coach, but I thought he was just looking for a fresh start. So we’re like a fresh program, fresh start, and I really hope that can jumpstart him.”
More Rumors in this Storyline
The Brooklyn Nets have acquired D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Brook Lopez and the rights to Kyle Kuzma, the 27th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Mike Bresnahan: I’ve confirmed Woj report. Brook Lopez becomes a Laker. Team clears out major cap space with Mozgov leaving. D’Angelo Russell era has ended.
Adam Zagoria: The Lakers now have the 2, 27 and 28 picks on Thursday. Blazers also have 3 first-rounders. Nets only have 22 in first round.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Lakers are trading Tim Mozgov and D’Angelo Russell to Nets for Brook Lopez and 27th pick Thursday, sources say.
Chad Ford: Sounds like Lakers are dangling D’Angelo Russell in effort to get another Top 12 pick. Luke Kennard & Zach Collins appear to be targets
With the Los Angeles Lakers coming away with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft following Tuesday night’s lottery, multiple NBA teams are evaluating trade packages for D’Angelo Russell, league sources told SI.com.
The Lakers technically have until Thursday’s trade deadline to make any more moves to their roster. But hours after Lakers president Jeanie Buss named him the president of basketball operations, Johnson called the Lakers’ young core “untouchable.” “That’s good to hear, honestly,” second-year guard D’Angelo Russell said. “With everybody getting traded and everything happening, you’re walking around looking over your shoulder because you don’t have a clue what’s going on. Some things you can’t control. So that’s good to hear.”
Indeed, it looks like there will be a good deal of time. That’s because the Lakers are not moving any of the three, even as we enter the silly season of NBA trade discussions. According to league sources, the Lakers have not included any of the three into trade discussions, and do not figure to change that. They’re unlikely to consider moves involving their two other young role players, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr., who figure to be key parts of the rotation in the near future.
That doesn’t much matter. Here’s what one Western Conference scout said about the state of the Lakers: “If you made a list of the 20 best players who are 22 or under, I think you’d have to have all three of the Lakers’ young guys on there. They’re three of the best young guys in the league. There’s really not a lot of teams can say that, and I think a lot of mediocre teams would like to swap rosters with the Lakers right now.”
Most encouraging, though, has been the way that Ingram has begun to break through, scoring in double digits in each of his past four games and shooting 50 percent or better from the field in five straight. Ingram is loaded with talent, and sometimes displays so much versatility that he doesn’t know on which area of his game he should focus. But, the scout said, “He is probably going to be the best of the three. When you look at his physical assets and what he is capable of just from a raw potential perspective, the sky is the limit. He has to be developed; that’s obvious. He looks to me like he is learning to assert himself more out on the floor. He’s got to figure out where he fits between Randle and Russell. But they’re so young, there will be plenty of time to make that smoother.”
The indifference regarding endless trade scenarios went beyond D’Angelo Russell’s confidence and talent. “You hear trade talks,” Russell said on Tuesday at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “Then you get a text from your GM saying he trusts your work ethic and don’t worry about it.”
Serena Winters: Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak reassures D’Angelo Russell not to worry about trade talks: D’Angelo Russell on whether trade talks bother him: “No, when you hear trade talks & then you get a text from your GM talking about how he trusts your work ethic & don’t worry about this, you have nothing to worry about.”
Steve Kyler: Not exactly — Lakers are open to ideas, but to say they are specifically trying to move D’Angelo, not true. twitter.com/BryanBoatman/s…
According to ESPN’s Chad Ford, it’s possible that they pass on Ingram and it’s also possible that they trade Russell for another pick. “I think we all assume that Ingram’s going to be the guy at No. 2, but they’ve brought in Marquese Chriss, they’ve taken a long look at him,” Ford said in a SportsCenter appearance. “They’ve brought in Dragan Bender, Jaylen Brown, and while I still believe that it will be Ingram at No. 2, the Lakers have explored other options. And again I think the concern with Ingram is his lack of strength and how NBA-ready he’s going to be because of that. I think more likely the Lakers are trying to pick up another pick in this draft in the top five and the guy that they have that they can shop is D’Angelo Russell, a guy who was their No. 2 pick in the draft last year but burned some bridges in the locker room.”
Then the walls almost completely caved in on Russell. A video surfaced on social media of Russell recording a private conversation with teammate Nick Young in which Russell is asking Young questions about being with other women besides fiancé Iggy Azalea. Looking back, Russell knows how much he endured. “I’m glad it all happened. Honestly,” Russell said. “I’m glad I went through all those — I don’t know — all those adversities, different sets of adversities. I think it shows your true character. It’ll only make me stronger.”
The Lakers are not happy that Russell has cast the franchise in this light now—and there are those in the organization fearful that he has made himself another hurdle to be overcome in the franchise’s effort to add much-needed, proven free-agent talent. But the club is not about to give up on him over this: a foolish, ill-conceived undertaking that was at least not malicious in intent. The Lakers believe in Russell’s talent and hope he learns a lesson the hard way about needing to be more professional. Russell has been glad to have another young teammate to experience off-the-court life with him in 23-year-old Jordan Clarkson, who got embroiled in his own controversy earlier this month—riding in the car with Young, actually
Russell and Randle, one executive noted, “will have value in a trade to get a better player.” That’s the crux of where the Lakers are. Assuming they’re able to keep their pick, do they continue building through the draft and follow the model that has worked so well in San Antonio and Oklahoma City? Or do they cash in their chips to trade for a star?
Unless some significant move comes to the Lakers’ doorstep, you’d think any young piece wouldn’t be on the move come Thursday. Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell and Larry Nance Jr. shouldn’t be considered “untouchable,” but the Lakers likely won’t be breaking up their young core.
Jake Fischer: Conferred w/ several league sources: Lakers have “definitely not” made D’Angelo Russell available, view he and Clarkson backcourt of future. Teams are calling Lakers about Russell. But, if you’re a rival GM & aren’t inquiring about a benched No. 3 pick, you’re not doing your job.
The Los Angeles Lakers are currently rebuilding. The storied franchise has brought in three promising young pieces to the puzzle over the past two years in D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson. All three of these players could be All-Stars in the making, but there’s no guarantee the trio will remain in Los Angeles long-term. According to Colin Cowherd of Fox Sports, the Lakers would trade parts of this trio to bring in superstar talent. Cowherd said the following about the rumored mindset of the Lakers brass regarding possibly trading the team’s talented young core on Thurs. Dec. 3 on The Herd: “The Lakers would trade three of them. They’d like to keep Julius Randle. They’d move the other three to rebuild it with multiple free agents and Randle’s the only one they really truly believe is ready very quickly to be on a really good NBA team.”
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June 23, 2018 | 1:27 pm EDT Update
It’s only natural to wonder if James might partner with his best friend and fellow free agent in Paul, and we’ve been wondering for six months or so if that might be the case. But while the Rockets appear resigned to the fact that James won’t be coming their way, they also remain fully confident that Paul is going nowhere. When Paul pushed his way from the Clippers to the Rockets via trade last June, there was a mutual understanding about how his next contract would look. It remains to be seen if it comes in the form of a five-year, $205 million max deal – one that would have him making a whopping $46.7 million in the final year of the deal while nearing the age of 38 – but there remains a strong sense within Rockets circles that he’s staying put.
The Cavs have reportedly pursued a deal for Kemba Walker to bolster their pitch to James, but might they be able to swing a deal for Leonard instead? They might have a better shot than anyone in the West, but they’d be hard-pressed to compete with the kind of packages that teams like Boston and Philadelphia could put forth. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the Cavs have inquired about Leonard but there is no traction on a possible deal. The Spurs have told teams to put forth offers without any indication of what might come next.
Even with the Thunder coming just two losses away from missing the playoffs, and then falling to Utah in six games during their first-round matchup, there is all sorts of optimism in Oklahoma City that George will re-sign. Conversely, there’s pessimism in James’ camp that George would leave Oklahoma City. George has raved about the Thunder since the beginning, making it clear to USA TODAY Sports in September that the organization had earned his confidence from the start. “I haven’t even gone through a season yet, and they’ve already proven everything on my check list (that) I can check off,” George said then. “That’s what feels good. That’s what makes me feel like, ‘Hey, this can be a landing spot for me, and somewhere I can call home for years.”
The Spanish superstar speaks up with a personal blog titled “The Last Taboo” for Expansion, about the importance of players speaking up about their mental health. In his entry, Gasol acknowledges the fact that the NPBA has now put solid foundations to a mental health program, which he is totally in favor of, following the stories of Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan. Gasol writes: “Throughout the history of sports we have seen numerous examples of professionals who have been affected by mental health problems and more and more are talking openly about it. Recently, after his retirement, my friend Andrés Iniesta commented without hesitation in several interviews about the depression he suffered a few years ago, accentuated by a series of injuries and the sudden loss of his friend Dani Jarque. Fortunately, his case is a story with a happy ending because, thanks to his effort and dedication, he managed to continue with his successful sports career.”
Gasol: “The NBA is the competition that dedicates the most effort so that players learn to coexist with the demands of professional sports. Examples of this are the programs for rookies that are normally carried out before starting their first seasons in the professional league or the Player Assistance Plan, which includes mandatory meetings for all players in the league during each season, that help us to be aware of the different factors and dangers that will affect us throughout our careers and beyond. But, undoubtedly, this new mental health program launched by NBPA is a milestone that will mark what are the steps to follow to improve the emotional and psychological well-being of athletes in all professional competitions around the world.”