D’Angelo Russell has been an excellent entry into the Los Angeles Lakers team. They were in deep trouble when he joined. After a terrible start to the season, losing ten out of the first twelve games, the Lakers were too close to miss out on back-to-back postseasons. Clearly, the team needed major changes before the trade deadline. They signed a three-team contract with Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz. The Lakers traded Russell Westbrook along with a few first-round and second-round picks for the upcoming seasons and got back D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley, and a few more in return.
This trade was a blessing in disguise for the LA franchise to save them from the brink of elimination before the postseason. The team found a well-needed balance and looked stronger than ever. Currently, the Lakers are leading the second-round playoff series against the defending champions 2-1. Hence the trade in February worked miracles for the Lakers. However, it seems the trade was beneficial not just for the Lakers but also for one of the players who got in. For instance, D’Angelo Russell is very happy to return to the Lakers.
D’Angelo Russell Was Not Happy With The Timberwolves
D’Lo Russell spoke to The Athletic recently and mentioned, “I was getting held back quite often during my days with the Timberwolves. But the role I’m playing here with the Lakers is pretty fun.” Russell was not able to play freely with the Timberwolves. Hence, he needed change as well. But D’Lo mentioned that he did not tell anybody about his unhappiness on that team. However, Russell is happy to contribute and be part of the Lakers team now. Moreover, the Lakers are where D’Lo got his first break in NBA. He is delighted to come back home.
Since his debut in 2015, D’Angelo Russell has not found a place where he could settle. For these eight years, he has traveled through four teams – Lakers, Nets, Warriors, Timberwolves, and back to Lakers in 2023. But now, Russell is proving to be a special asset to the Lakers squad. He is gaining a reputation as the third most important member on the roster after LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Along with Austin Reaves, D’Lo is a possible asset of the Lakers for the future to build a team centering around them. Both Reaves and Russell become free agents in the offseason. The question is if the Lakers are able to extend their contracts.
D’Lo Is Becoming More And More Essential To The Lakers
D’Angelo Russell has proved to be an expert in shooting three-pointers. There have been few matches when he single-handedly helped the Lakers clinch victory. Furthermore, in Game 3 against the Warriors, where the Lakers blew the visitors away, D’Lo Russell opened the scoring for the Lakers.
In the first quarter itself, D’Lo scored three 3-pointers. Overall, D’Lo Russell scored 21 points and helped Anthony Davis dominate in both the offense and defense. The Lakers are proving to be too strong for the defending champions. Can the Lakers beat the Warriors to reach the Conference Finals?