D’Angelo Russell became an integral part of the Los Angeles Lakers roster very soon after he came back to the franchise last February. He made his NBA debut with the same franchise back in 2015. But later, D’Lo moved to the Nets in 2017. However, after a long time, he is back in the gold and purple. Clearly, Russell has been one of the essential inclusions on the roster out of the players who came in from the February trades. The Point Guard turned out to be an expert at shooting three-pointers as he single-handedly won a few games in the regular season.
But coming to the playoffs, D’Lo’s average started dropping miserably. And that did not help the team at all. In the end, the Lakers lost the conference finals in a humiliating fashion. But looks like, in the offseason, the front office of the Los Angeles Lakers must make some tough calls now. They obviously don’t have the cap space like other teams due to their two top stars. Hence, they would likely have to let go of a few future assets. Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura are both restricted free agents in the offseason. But D’Angelo Russell is an unrestricted free agent. So, what will his fate unfold? Will he stay a Laker or move to another team once again?
Will Lakers Keep D’Angelo Russell In The Offseason?
The way things were going, it seemed as if the Lakers would like to keep D’Angelo Russell as someone around whom they might build future rosters. Moreover, fans thought that after the LeBron James-Anthony Davis era ends, the team would look to center around D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves. However, the way Russell played in the conference finals against the Nuggets, it is fair to say that he has disappointed the Lakers faithful. Hence, the question remains, will the front office keep D’Lo or just let him go?
However, D’Angelo Russell has been very vocal about wanting to stay in Los Angeles. Even his girlfriend wants the same thing. But his uselessness against the Nuggets has proved costly for the team. Moreover, the team has been questioning the plan to give Russell a place in the starting lineup. Hence, it seems like Russell may not get the offer he is looking for in the offseason. On top of that, Kyrie Irving has again become a viable option for the Lakers to sign in. If that happens, then Los Angeles Lakers might have no choice but let D’Angelo Russell go.
How The February Trades Helped The Lakers This Season?
It is worth mentioning the February trades really changed the course of the Lakers’ graph this season. The team did not look balanced before the February trade deadline and was quite possibly not going to make the postseason. But when they gained balance on the roster, the Los Angeles Lakers made the most out of it.
As they not just made the postseason but also reached the conference finals. However, the top-seed Denver Nuggets beat the 17-time champions 4-0. Hence, they reach the NBA finals for the first time in their franchise’s history. On the other hand, Los Angeles Lakers are out despite their miraculous turnaround in the season.