The dust has finally settled following the blockbuster trade that sent D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Brook Lopez and draft pick Kyle Kuzma. The Los Angeles Lakers have moved on, and Russell has to get used to his new surrounding in Brooklyn.
On Sunday, Russell may have gotten a taste of things to come at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The new Nets guard was on hand for the BIG3 League season opener on his home court and was apparently not received well by the fans in attendance, according to Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post:
D'Angelo Russell gets introduced for the first time at Barclays Center since being traded here last week. He gets received with lots of boos
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) June 25, 2017
Despite the poor reception reported by Bontemps, Russell was all smiles taking a selfie with some of his new teammates in Brooklyn, via the Nets Twitter account:
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) June 25, 2017
During the NBA Draft earlier this week, the Russell trade with the Nets was made official. The deal essentially moves Mozgov’s massive contract off the books for the Lakers while giving them an upgrade at the position in Lopez and paves the way for rookie Lonzo Ball as the starting point guard with Russell now in Brooklyn.
Although a lot of Lakers fans have had mixed feelings about the trade, it has become abundantly clear that Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka are shaping the team’s image the way they intended. Russell was always thought to be a player that was on the fence in terms of Johnson’s bar for character and work ethic.
Now the team moves forward with Ball as the new face of the franchise for the time being until or if they can land Paul George in another trade or free agency next summer. Moving these contracts off the books also makes it possible for the Lakers to potentially bring in two max players next year with George and LeBron James likely in their crosshairs.