Lakers News: LA Considering Re-Signing D'Angelo Russell If He Opts Out of Current Contract?

The reason will shock you.
Apr 29, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell (1) reacts.
Apr 29, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell (1) reacts. / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Lakers are poised to triple down on starting point guard D'Angelo Russell this summer if he winds up opting out of his $18.7 million deal for the 2024-25 season.

A source informs Anthony Irwin of Lakers Daily that Los Angeles management will encourage him to agree to a new one-season contract, set to pay him more than his player option, should he opt out. Ostensibly, it's to make him more tradable midseason, but we've heard that song and dance before. L.A. was hoping to make him an appealing trade chip at this past season's deadline, but failed to drum up much interest, in part because of his flexibility this summer. Why Los Angeles expects a better result this year is beyond us.

When the calendar year rolled over to 2024, Russell's game really started to improve. He finished the season with averages of 18 points on .456/.415/.792 shooting splits, 6.3 assists, 3.1 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 0.5 blocks a night, across 76 contests (69 starts). He cratered in the playoffs once again, averaging 14.2 points on .384/.318/.500 shooting splits, 4.2 dimes, 2.8 rebounds and 0.8 steals per bout.

Irwin reports that Los Angeles is "open" to beginning the season with Russell and shooting guard Austin Reaves as its starting backcourt, and would hope to move off Russell midseason. Given that this did not happen last year, it's stunning to think the Lakers expect a different result in 2024-25. If Russell does opt out, L.A. should thank its lucky stars and pivot to another option at the point.

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Alex Kirschenbaum


Basketball is Alex's favorite sport, he likes the way they dribble up and down the court.