Thursday, November 30 2023

The Los Angeles Lakers are planning to re-sign D’Angelo Russell, according to sources. Russell, 27, reached the end of the four-year, $117.32 million contract he signed with the Brooklyn Nets in July 2019 as part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Golden State Warriors.

Russell earned $31,377,750 this past season. In 71 starts of the 2022-23 season, the eight-year veteran averaged 17.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.0 steal, and 32.5 minutes per game with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lakers. Moreover, Russell shot career bests of 46.9% from the field and 39.6% beyond the arc.

Per a few NBA betting sites, the Lakers hold sixth-shortest odds to win next season’s championship in 2024. Some sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, and Golden State Warriors.

“But all indications, both publicly and privately, point to the organization planning to re-sign restricted free agents Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura and unrestricted free agent D’Angelo Russell,” wrote Jovan Buhan of The Athletic.

“The Lakers are also expected to try to retain unrestricted free agent Dennis Schroeder and Lonnie Walker IV, though they do not have full Bird rights on either. … To do that, the Lakers must first make decisions with the contracts of Malik Beasley ($16.5 million team option) and Mo Bamba ($10.3 million non-guaranteed) by June 29.”

The Lakers had a lot of problems this past season, but DLo wasn’t one of them. Besides struggling to stay healthy, the team needed more size in the paint and outside threats. However, maybe the team will trade for Brook Lopez this offseason.

Los Angeles Lakers are fixing to re-sign D’Angelo Russell, along with Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura

As part of a three-team trade in February, Russell was traded by Minnesota to the Lakers; L.A. traded a 2024 second-round draft pick to the Timberwolves; and the Lakers dealt Damian Jones, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Russell Westbrook, and a 2027 first-round draft pick to the Utah Jazz.

Additionally, Utah traded Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt to L.A., and the Jazz sent Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Mike Conley, a 2025 second-round draft pick, and a 2026 second-rounder to the Wolves. The Lakers also received multiple trade exceptions.

In the Lakers’ 112-108 loss to the New York Knicks on Mar. 12, Russell scored a season-high 33 points in 36 minutes as a starter. Along with tallying five boards, eight assists, and one block, he shot 13-of-19 (68.4%) from the floor and 6-of-11 (54.5%) from downtown.

Furthermore, in Game 4 of the Lakers’ 117-111 overtime win against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, the guard scored 17 points in 29 minutes of action. During the fourth quarter, the Ohio State product drained three straight 3-pointers to turn a 97-90 deficit into a 99-97 lead.

“Without DLo in that fourth quarter, the game was kind of stalling out, and we couldn’t get a good shot; we couldn’t get a good look. D’Lo hit back-to-back threes, and it gave us an opportunity to even put ourselves in position to go to overtime. That was huge,” LeBron James said.

In a 125-85 blowout win over Memphis in Game 6, Russell scored a playoff career-high 31 points in the same number of minutes played. Not to mention, he finished 12-of-17 (70.6%) shooting from the field and 5-of-9 (55.6%) from 3-point range.

The Lakers went 7-0 this past postseason when Russell scored 17 or more points.

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Source: Basketball Insider


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