Lonzo Ball's draft stock stays strong with Lakers watching

Russell's arrival won't change the Brooklyn Nets draft plans

It was a move that was somewhat easy to see coming, with the Lakers freeing up their point guard depth chart in the days before the draft by trading away the second overall pick in the 2015 draft, point guard D'Angelo Russell, to the New Jersey Nets in what amounted to a salary dump.

As it turned out, the 6-foot-5 All-American guard/forward and 2016-17 Big East Player of the Year would hear his name as the final selection of the first round, No. 30 overall, by the Utah Jazz. Also, he said that he would prefer to play for the Lakers after becoming a free agent.

"Just joy", Hart said of his reaction when he received the phone call. "We're not there yet". "We feel it in the offices every day". It previously drafted forward Julius Randle, Russell and forward Brandon Ingram. Additionally, one of his main weapons on the court was his defense- often times locking down the opposing teams' best perimeter player. "He's going to do what he does and we're going to do what we do and we're going to get after it here". Yet, Fox still managed to put up 17 points, four rebounds, and five assists per game.

The organization was split on Russell, with supporters clinging to his potential as a scorer and passer and detractors feeling frustrated with his inconsistency, attitude and work ethic. "And that's a quality and a trait that not many people have". To make matters more interesting, he will learn under the guidance of Johnson, arguably the greatest point guard in National Basketball Association history. "We're looking for co-branding, a true partner. Brook Lopez really transformed his game previous year and became a guy that was making 3s". He's a really good shooter.

Russell's arrival won't change the Brooklyn Nets draft plans
Nets grab Texas one-and-done big man Allen with 22nd pick

"There's something very, very special about his basketball abilities", Pelinka said. "High basketball IQ, plays the game the right way, so we thought that was a really incredible opportunity to get a player like that". It allows the team to get Mozgov's contract off the books as he was owed $48 million over the next three years. Players like Paul George or LeBron James who may be considering Los Angeles don't want to be the only superstar on the team. "And that really fit in to our long-term plan".

2 overall pick in the 2015 draft, was dealt to Brooklyn along with center Timofey Mozgov, who is entering the second year of a four-year, $64 million contract.

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"We accomplished so much in one trade, it was really the flawless storm for us", Pelinka said.

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