An extended partnership between D’Angelo Russell and the Los Angeles Lakers could be on the horizon in this year’s offseason.
In his discussion with HoopsHype’s Mike Scotto, Jovan Buha of the Athletic revealed that the Lakers have a “very strong interest” to retain Russell, who is set to hit the market as an unrestricted free-agent.
“I think those feelings are mutual. When the Lakers made that deal, part of it was getting off Russ’ contract and getting out of that situation, but they could’ve potentially had Mike Conley in that deal. They looked at D’Angelo Russell as someone who could be their point guard of the future and potentially that lead ball handler and third-star type of guy that could fit around Anthony Davis and LeBron. From what I’ve been told, the Lakers have very strong interest in re-signing him. I believe it’s mutual on both sides. It’s just going to come down to what type of deal does that look like?”
Russell’s intent to become the point guard of L.A.’s future has already been publicized when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski declared it earlier this week.
“D’Angelo Russell very much wanted a second chance in LA with the Lakers and you’ve seen the impact he made coming back against Toronto the other night, playing great in a win, and again tonight,” Wojnarowski said. “He wants to be the point guard of the future for this organization. He’ll be a free agent this summer.”
Acquired by the Lakers last trade deadline in a multi-team swap, Russell has been splendid so far in eight games of wearing the Lakeshow uniform, averaging 18.8 points, 5.9 assists, 3.8 boards while shooting a deadly 41.1 percent from three out of 7.0 attempts.
Despite missing LeBron James and the struggles of Anthony Davis, his numbers and recent performances allowed the Lakers to keep their fight burning for a potential postseason spot, with them sitting at the 10th-place so far while holding a 34-36 record.
After a failed first stint during his youth days as the franchise’s No. 2 overall pick in 2015 Draft, it would be a dream come true for Russell to finally have a second chance to ultimately occupy the floor general role of the Lakers in his return to L.A.
Running the show of the club alongside James and Davis, who complements his efficient shooting and supportive scoring, it can only be special for Russell to further improve his case as a star point man in the league and bring back Los Angeles to basketball relevance.