The Los Angeles Lakers’ successful run in NBA 2022-23 season came to an end following a 0-4 defeat in the Western Conference finals against the Denver Nuggets. A tired lineup failed to generate enough plays, which led to the team’s unfortunate ouster. Nonetheless, the team will move back to LA with their heads held high while looking back at how the season panned out for them.
From being a 13th-seeded team in the Western table to going all the way up to the conference finals, the Lakers had a big ride. The trade acquisition that happened during the deadline in February deserves the most credit for the team’s turnaround. The likes of D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, Jared Vanderbilt, and many more transformed the whole look of the roster. With the present season coming to an end, the Lakers will face the difficult task of determining who they want to take forward with them among the current roster members.
Lakers Might Not Be Able To Retain D’Angelo Russell After Seeing His Demand
Multiple members of the new-look Lakers are headed to free agency in the off-season. D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, and Austin Reaves remain the big names that the team will consider retaining. Speaking of Russell, he had a dream run the regular season as he averaged 6.2 assists per game while shooting 46.9%. However, the point guard’s numbers drop significantly in the playoffs. It reached a point where coach Darvin Ham started Russell off the bench. Hence, his contract negotiations with the team could take a solid hit.
Meanwhile, as per the latest media reports, D’Angelo Russell was seeking a $100 million four-year extension contract with his former team, Minnesota Timberwolves, before getting traded to the Lakers. It is also believed that Russell’s high ask might have encouraged the Timberwolves to trade the PG away. However, it remains unconfirmed that Russell will put forth the same deal against the Lakers. But considering his overall performance, there is no way the point guard gets the asked price. If he wants to continue donning the purple and gold jersey, he must lower his ambitions.
D’Angelo Russell Lauded For His Positive Presence In LA’s Locker Room
Point guard D’Angelo Russell will hit the free agent market in the upcoming free agency. So far, he has not held any talks with the Lakers’ management regarding an extension. However, inside information says that the team remains fond of the point guard. He brought along much-needed positivity in the Lakers locker room, for which his teammates loved him. Hence, that could earn Russell some brownie points for his forthcoming contract negotiations.
Still, the chances of D’Angelo Russell receiving an extension contract from the Lakers look bleak. Solely because of his disappointing playoff numbers. Things could work out only if Russell lowers his values and demands. The purple and gold are also looking at Kyrie Irving as a potential candidate, because of which the point guard might lose some leverage. Hence, tough times are ahead for Russ in the free agency.