Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations magic johnson has never been one to mince words or hold his tongue. One day after Johnson and the Lakers traded their best player D'Angelo Russell and then drafted Lonzo Ball, Magic explained why the trade happened. According to Johnson, he believes that Russell is an "excellent player" and is talented enough to become an All-Star but the Lakers needed a leader.

D'Angelo Russell controversies

D'Angelo Russell was a first-round draft pick and the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. He was supposed to be the face that brought the Los Angeles Lakers back to their championship form.

However, immaturity issues in his rookie season when he recorded video of teammate Nick Young talking about cheating on his finance with Iggy Azalea and released it on social media.

That moment destroyed the relationship of D'Angelo Russell and his Los Angeles Lakers teammates for the rest of the season. Fans might have forgotten this misdeed after the season ended except for the fact that Russell was not leading the Lakers back to the playoffs.

As a matter of fact, with rookie D'Angelo Russell only starting 48 games as a rookie, the Los Angeles Lakers had the second-worst record in the NBA with only 17 wins. D'Angelo had a chance to redeem himself in his second season, and he played better in the second half of the year, but his Lakers finished with the third-worst record in the NBA.

It was an improvement but not enough.

Magic Johnson planning for the future

D'Angelo Russell was not a Magic Johnson player and it was clear that magic knew that Russell was not a leader that could put the Los Angeles Lakers on his back and carry them to the playoffs like Kobe Bryant years before. Johnson said that he wants a player who makes everyone around him better and it sounds like Russell is not that type of a player.

However, Lonzo Ball is that type of a player. Ball is a good shooter, although maybe not the level of a D'Angelo Russell. However, Lonzo is a generous teammate and has no problem with dishing out assists to other players in order to score points. Lonzo Ball makes everyone around him better by not being selfish and that is something Magic wants on his Lakers team.

D'Angelo Russell will have a chance to reinvent himself with the Brooklyn Nets. The lights are still bright in Brooklyn but nowhere near the levels of the Los Angeles Lakers. Meanwhile, Magic Johnson got his man in Lonzo Ball, someone who can actually lead the Lakers back to the Promise Land.

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