For the second time in three years, the Los Angeles Lakers have come out of the NBA Draft after picking No. 2 overall thinking they found their point guard of the future.
This time around it was Lonzo Ball, the homegrown UCLA product and son of the world's most famous sports dad, who Magic Johnson called the "new face of the Lakers."
The reason the Lakers will be Lonzo's to run next year, is because a few days before the draft, the team sent away their No. 2 pick from the 2015 Draft,
The impetus for the deal, which netted Brook Lopez and a first-round pick, was that the Lakers needed to clear cap space for future free agent deals by dumping Timofey Mozgov's contract, and Russell was the price to pay for the Nets assuming Mozgov's money.
However, on Friday, Magic let on that the Lakers weren't exactly bummed to see Russell go, saying "we want to thank him for what he did for us. But what I needed was a leader."
Magic Johnson on D’Angelo 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
Russell did not have the smoothest two years in Los Angeles; there was the whole Snapchat saga with Nick Young, and Russell did not get along with Byron Scott in his rookie season.
Still, it's pretty rare to hear an executive make these kind of comments publicly about a player, even if that player's no longer on their team.
With a fresh start in Brooklyn, Russell will have a chance to prove he can be a leader and a starting point guard in this league.