After constant rumors and reports Brook Lopez would get traded, the day finally happened on June 22nd. He was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for Timofey Mozgov and D'Angelo Russell. Much respect to Brook Lopez for giving his all for the Nets organization, and best regards for his future. However, Nets fans should have their eyes on Russell, as he offers loads of potential which is something this rebuilding team needs without a doubt.
The Nets have a roster overloaded with guards. From Sean Kilpatrick to Joe Harris and Archie Goodwin. Backcourt wise, Brooklyn has a lot of options, but it's safe to say Russell will be front and center when it comes to minutes. Luckily for the Nets, he brings a good amount of talent to the court.
He's an excellent passer and floor general, along with high IQ for the game. His handles are top notch, with a solid jump shot on his list of skills as well. He averaged 15.6 points, 4.8 assists, and 3.5 boards a game. In addition, Russell collected 1.4 steals a game, with a decent 35.2% from the three point line.
Obviously, since he's only 21, Russell still can improve in certain areas. However, he's still an intriguing prospect for the Nets because of the spotlight he can receive. Besides Jeremy Lin, it's not like the Nets have a franchise face. There isn't one player there that would exactly put fans in those arena seats, or sell loads of jerseys. Although, Russell may change all of that.
This could be similar to the James Harden situation. Harden, was once a sixth man for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He contributed a few good numbers, and helped where he needed, but wasn't quite a star. Now that he's killing it in Houston, he's not only a star, he has a team franchise in his hands.
Now, of course, that's not to say everything that happened in the previous example will happen here. Still, it's something that is a possibility and should definitely be a goal for Russell himself. It's already apparent Russell has a leadership mentality. So, if Russell can bring his talent and effort to Brooklyn, things can finally be exciting again inside the Barclay Center.