The Los Angeles Lakers drafted D'Angelo Russell to become their franchise star, knowing that he had the talent to fill those shoes. However, after two seasons with the franchise, Los Angeles decided it was time to send Russell on his way through a trade with the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez. After the Russell trade, Lakers legend and current team president magic johnson said that D'Angelo is an excellent player but that Los Angeles needed a "leader."

D'Angelo Russell responds to Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson didn't flat out say that D'Angelo Russell was not a team leader but his comments made sure that people knew that was what he thought.

Instead of Russell, who spent his rookie season dividing the franchise and the second slowly improving, the Los Angeles Lakers used the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft to bring in Lonzo Ball, someone who was a clear leader in college with the UCLA Bruins.

When asked about the Magic Johnson comments at his Brooklyn Nets introductory press conference, D'Angelo Russell just shrugged them off and said that what Magic said was "irrelevant." Russell said that he is just happy to be in Brooklyn and he can't control what the Los Angeles Lakers say about him because he is gone and they are in his past.

D'Angelo Russell said that he is excited to be a part of the Brooklyn Nets and will play wherever they put him in the lineup.

Russell then slightly acknowledged the Los Angeles Lakers controversy when he said that he plans on being a leader for the young and rebuilding Nets franchise.

D'Angelo Russell

The biggest problem is that the Los Angeles Lakers put a lot of stock in D'Angelo Russell when they picked him with the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft after he finished up at Ohio State.

His play his rookie season was shaky and he got more attention for releasing a video of a teammate admitting to cheating on his finance than of winning games.

The Lakers finished with the worst record in the NBA in Russell's rookie season. They only improved slightly in his second year. Even with Lonzo Ball, odds-makers expect Los Angeles to struggle again this year.

Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks thinks that it will help D'Angelo to start a new chapter.

D'Angelo Russell actually improved in his second season. He raised his average from 13.2 ppg to 15.6 while raising his assist average from 3.3 to 4.8 per game. In Brooklyn, he will join Jeremy Lin and will be able to learn a bit from a veteran at his position.