The Los Angeles Lakers have made their first big move of the offseason, and surprisingly it didn’t involve Paul George. The Lakers have agreed to deal D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and the 27th pick in the NBA Draft.
The deal cleared out a ton of cap space for the Lakers in 2018, but it could also be a precursor to another move. According to Marc Stein of ESPN the Lakers are trying to land George for the 27th and 28th picks in the draft plus either Jordan Clarkson or Julius Randle:
Can the Lakers now land Paul George by offering Thursday's No. 27 and 28 picks and either Julius Randle or Jordan Clarkson? They're trying.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 20, 2017
The Pacers reportedly were looking for two first-round picks to land George, and now the Lakers can offer that plus another young piece. The Lakers being able to pull off two moves like this without sacrificing Brandon Ingram or the No. 2 pick would be pretty impressive.
Based on who is on the roster now, Randle would seem to be the more likely to be moved. The Lakers still have multiple bigs in Lopez, Ivica Zubac, and Larry Nance Jr. while Luol Deng is also better served to play more minutes at power forward as well.
With Russell gone, the Lakers seem certain to take Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick, but he is still a rookie and having Clarkson around to ease the load would likely pay dividends.
Things are just getting started for the Lakers as this Lopez move could be the first shoe to drop. The draft is only two days away, and there is plenty more that can happen. If the Lakers can get George this summer for a package like this, it would be hard to pass up.