LOS ANGELES - Three people with knowledge of the deal say the Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to trade point guard D'Angelo Russell and high-priced center Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for big man Brook Lopez and the 27th overall pick in the upcoming draft.
The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the trade hadn't been consummated.
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The Lakers' new front office led by Magic Johnson has boldly decided to give up on Russell, the No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft, after just two years. He averaged 15.6 points and 4.8 assists last season while Los Angeles struggled to its fourth consecutive losing record.
The deal all but confirms Los Angeles will select UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick in the draft Thursday, adding the gifted playmaker to run coach Luke Walton's up-tempo offense.
The Lakers also appear to be sacrificing Russell to clear the salary cap space eaten up by the final three seasons of the four-year, $64 million contract given to Mozgov by the previous front office. Although Mozgov performed reasonably well when given the chance last season, averaging 7.4 points and 4.9 rebounds, the 7-foot-1 Russian didn't appear to fit into Walton's Golden State-influenced schemes (see full story).
Cavaliers: Billups meets with owner about front-office job
CLEVELAND -- Chauncey Billups was clutch as a player, earning the nickname "Mr. Big Shot."
He could soon have a new title.
The former All-Star guard met Tuesday with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert about a position in Cleveland's front office, a person familiar with the encounter told the Associated Press. The meeting took place in Detroit, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks.
Gilbert is looking for a general manager -- his fifth in 12 years with Cleveland -- after parting ways with David Griffin on Monday as the Cavs regrouped after losing to Golden State in the NBA Finals. Griffin's contract expires on June 30, and he and Gilbert decided to mutually part ways after being unable to negotiate an extension and not sharing the same vision for the team's future.
Gilbert and Billups have some history. They've known each other from their days with the Pistons when Billups was one of the team's leaders and Gilbert's Rock Financial mortgage company was one of the team's major sponsors.
A five-time All-Star, Billups does not have any front-office experience, so it's more likely he could fill an executive role to work alongside a new GM. Billups, who has been working as a TV analyst for ESPN, is also close with Cavs coach Tyronn Lue (see full story).
Spurs: Gasol opts out, but likely to re-sign
Pau Gasol has declined the option on his contract for next season with the San Antonio Spurs, but it's doubtful he's going anywhere.
Gasol declined the $16 million option on Tuesday with the intent of signing a longer-term deal with the Spurs so the franchise can gain some flexibility to hit the free agent market, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Spurs did not officially announce the move.
Gasol signed a two-year deal last summer worth $30 million. He averaged 12.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 25.4 minutes per game for the Spurs last season, at times starting and others coming off the bench for a team that won 61 games and lost to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals (see full story).
Timberwolves: Oft-injured Pekovic waived
MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Timberwolves have waived center Nikola Pekovic, whose troublesome right foot limited a once-promising career to 271 games with the team over seven seasons.
The move was made Tuesday, with one season remaining on the five-year, $60 million contract Pekovic signed after a breakout 2012-13 season. The 31-year-old Pekovic last appeared in a game for the Wolves on Jan. 31, 2016.
Drafted in the second round in 2008, the 6-foot-11, 307-pound native of Montenegro made his NBA debut on Oct. 27, 2010. But just 10 games in, he sprained his left foot. Pekovic went on to miss an average of 21 games over his first four seasons to injuries, mostly on his right foot. He had Achilles tendon surgery in April 2015 and played in only 12 games the following year.