Los Angeles Lakers are placed as the 13th seed in the Western Conference table. Hence, the team is not having a great season, as the playoff chances are not looking too good. So the front office came up with a plan to shuffle the roster before the trade deadline ends. There was a lot of discussion about who needed to be traded and who were the possible buys.
When Kyrie Irving suddenly announced right before the trade deadline that he wanted to be swapped out of the Nets, there was a lot of interest from a lot of teams. The Lakers especially showed a lot of enthusiasm as they were looking to trade Russell Westbrook to any franchise, plus getting Irving in exchange would be a pretty good deal. However, the Irving trade did not pan out exactly the way they hoped it would. The Nets sold Irving to the Mavericks.
Even the Lakers leading man, LeBron James, had the desire to reunite with his former Cleveland teammate. But perhaps his wish was too good to be true. So the Lakers finally made a three-team contract with the help of which they were able to sell Westbrook to the Jazz. With this deal, the Lakers got some promising talents on their roster.
Return Of Russell To The Lakers
The most popular of these trades was the return of D’Angelo Russell to the Lakers franchise. Even Patrick Beverley sounded very happy to reunite with his former Timberwolves teammate. The 26-year-old point guard made his debut in NBA in 2015 when the Lakers picked him from the NBA draft. Russell stayed with the Lakers for a couple of years until he made his move to Brooklyn Nets. So as it stands, the fans and the front office are very excited to have Russell back in the Lakers jersey.
Meanwhile, there was speculation regarding the durability of Russell’s return to the Lakers. Will that be another couple of years like the previous contract in 2015, or a little more than that? As it turns out that both the Lakers and D’Lo want a long-term deal. According to ESPN’s NBA insider, Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers are thinking about a long-term plan with D’Lo. Woj gave an appearance on the NBA Countdown show where he gave a hint about what might be going on in the heads of the player and the front office.
Why Russell Is Better For Ham’s Team Than Irving?
The NBA Analyst feels it’s better for the Lakers more than keep trying to buy Kyrie Irving. Woj mentioned, “I feel chances are Irving will stay with the Mavericks, and the kind of deal Irving wants for the long-term, he will get that in Dallas. Also, my gut feeling is that the LA team wanted Russell to think about a long way to the future.” The stats are going in favor of the LA franchise with this D’Lo contract. On the one hand, Irving’s history suggests that he will leave any team where his performance won’t improve.
On the other hand, D’Angelo Russell is young and energetic and complements King James and Anthony Davis pretty well as a point guard. He is kind of the exact shooter the Lakers have been looking for. Russell won’t take too long to adjust to the LA team, as he is pretty familiar with the franchise. A different way to look at it is that D’Lo has a pretty good fan following in LA. So that the front office can build a team around him for the future.