Los Angeles Lakers had a tricky situation to handle before heading toward the offseason this year. Many players were heading toward free agency. But the front office planned to keep the core together no matter what. This core group of players helped the team to reach the conference finals after an awful start to the season. For instance, players like D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, Rui Hachimura, and so on played crucial roles in the turnaround of the LA side. But these players were heading towards free agency.

Hence, the front office made a pretty good start on the Day 1 of free agency by extending Rui Hachimura’s contract to a 3-year contract worth $51 million. Moreover, Rob Pelinka bought Gabe Vincent, Taurence Prince, and Cam Reddish on the same day as well. Clearly, it was a pretty good start. And now, the Lakers have made a final move on D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves as well.


Rob Pelinka Ensures They Don’t Lose D’Angelo Russell & Austin Reaves

D'Angelo Russell Austin Reaves Lakers
D’Angelo Russell Austin Reaves Lakers

Hachimura and Reaves were restricted free agents while Russell was an unrestricted free agent. Hence, there was a good chance that D’Lo would move to another franchise in the offseason. But the Lakers have made sure that he stays with them for at least another two years. That is why, they re-signed D’Lo Russell for a two-year deal worth $37 million with a player option in the second season. However, it is a little questionable decision since Russell did not perform as expected in the playoffs. But the Undisputed host Skip Bayless feels that D’Lo is a solid deal for the Lakers as he can win them many games in the regular season.

The Lakersb have also re-signed Austin Reaves for a four year deal worth $56 million, as reported by Shams Charania of The Athletics. Reaves was the top priority of the front office in the free agency. Hence, the Lakers did not take any chance to let him go. Now the LA side look solid as a pretty strong backcourt power. Many experts mentioned the Lakers are currently performing the best in the offseason, thanks to Rob Pelinka. However, as it stands, with D’Lo Russell and Gabe Vincent, both in the team, it seems that the former is the early favorite for the starting lineup. D’Lo is pretty good at three pointer shooting. Moreover, he will add value as point guard for the Lakers and a quality support for the duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. 

Lakers Don’t Want To Lose The Core That Helped The Team Reach The WCF

Rui Hachimura Austin Reaves Lakers
Rui Hachimura Austin Reaves Lakers Source: Bleacher Report

At the beginning of the season, the Lakers had neither balance nor replacements for the injured players. There were just too many injury cases. But after the front office made some brilliant moves, the Lakers got some quality players in their roster to fill in the gaps. Later, the Los Angeles side turned things around dramatically to make the postseason.

Moreover, they shocked everybody to reach the Western Conference Finals. On their way, the Lakers beat the second-seed Memphis Grizzlies and the defending champions Golden State Warriors in Rounds 1 & 2. This epic turnaround made most of the players who joined in February fan favorites of the franchise.