Just two years after they selected D'Angelo Russell No. 2 overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers dealt the former Buckeye to the Brooklyn Nets for Brooks Lopez and a late first-round pick.
D'Angelo Russell is averaging 18 points and 5 assists per 36 MP. Here's everyone since the 1983 draft to do that in years 1-2 (min. 2000 MP) pic.twitter.com/kYILTNdZIe
— Basketball Reference (@bball_ref) June 21, 2017
It seemed odd that the Lakers would deal such a young, promising player like Russell so soon, but thanks to Magic Johnson, we now know why.
Magic Johnson on DAngelo Russell: "We want to thank him for what he did for us. But what I needed was a leader. Full quote: pic.twitter.com/3FhPthOpN1
— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) June 23, 2017
"D'Angelo is an excellent player," Johnson said. "He has the talent to be an All-Star. We want to thank him for what he did for us. But what I needed was a leader. I needed somebody also that can make the other players better and also [sombody] that the other players want to play for."
So where is he going for that leadership ability he craves? A 19-year-old one-and-done with a problematic father. Bold strategy, Magic. Let's see how that works out.