Adynamic scorer reportedly wants to be the “point guard of the future” for the Los Angeles Lakers.
It just so happens that he’s already on the roster.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, D’Angelo Russell wants to re-sign with the Lakers this summer. The Ohio State product becomes an unrestricted free agent in July.
“D’Angelo Russell very much wanted a second chance in LA with the Lakers and you’ve seen the impact he made coming back against Toronto the other night, playing great in a win, and again tonight,” Wojnarowski said on March 12 (h/t RealGM). “He wants to be the point guard of the future for this organization. He’ll be a free agent this summer.”
Russell will have made over $138 million in his career once this offseason hits. He’s played for the Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Los Angeles acquired Russell from Minnesota at the trade deadline. The lefty is averaging 19.2 points and 6.2 assists while shooting 53.2% from the field and 47.2% from beyond the arc since getting traded back to the Lakers.
The Lakers Want to Re-Sign D’Angelo Russell
The Lakers reportedly want to re-sign Russell, according to a February 15 report from Wojnarowski. Russell, 27, is in the final season of a four-year, $117 million contract he signed in July 2019.
“Both the Lakers and D’Angelo Russell have already expressed to each other an interest in starting conversations on a contract extension,” Wojnarowski said on NBA Countdown. “Russell could be a free agent this summer, but the Lakers traded for him — giving up as part of that package a first-round pick, two second-round picks — not to be a rental, but to be a solution at that point guard position. So expect D’Angelo Russell and the Lakers to really start engaging on those extension talks here in the next weeks and months into the offseason.”
The Lakers will have full Bird rights for Russell, who has career averages of 17.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.7 assists.
D’Angelo Russell Talks About Loss to Knicks
The Lakers lost to the New York Knicks on March 12 at home by a final score of 112-108. Russell, who finished with 33 points and eight assists in 35 minutes, said it was a “tough” loss.
“That one hurt for us,” Russell said. “I think we were battling. We tried to do everything we could. … It just didn’t go our way I guess. I don’t want to pinpoint it on anything, I didn’t really see it. It’s a tough one.”
The Lakers have 14 games remaining in the regular season, beginning with a road back-to-back against the New Orleans Pelicans on March 14 and the Houston Rockets on March 15. The top six seeds in the Western Conference automatically qualify for the postseason, while seeds 7-10 make the play-in tournament. The Lakers’ final game of the season is on April 9 versus the Utah Jazz.
Los Angeles superstar small forward LeBron James is no longer wearing a walking boot, so he could be close to returning. James, who became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer this season, suffered a right foot tendon injury on February 26 against the Dallas Mavericks.