Lakers planning to re-sign D’Angelo Russell
The Lakers are looking to keep their core together and are planning to re-sign D’Angelo Russell, per Jovan Buha.
Russell had a good 2022-23 season but struggled in the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets. In 17 games in the regular season with the Lakers, Russell averaged 17/3/6, shooting 48.4% from the field and 41.4% from three.
The 27-year-old guard is a good fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis due to his shooting and playmaking.
Recency bias has caused some to question if LA should re-sign Russell due to his play in the Western Conference Finals. However, Russell has been a productive player for the Lakers and was crucial in their turnaround after the trade deadline.
During the stretch in the regular season when LeBron James was out, Russell was pivotal in helping LA remain afloat and win games.
Russell also had big games in the first two rounds of the postseason against the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors.
Having continuity with the roster and keeping the core together should allow the Lakers to build on a deep playoff run as they head into next season.
Rob Pelinka said the Lakers are targeting tough, defensive-minded, selfless players in free agency. He echoed that the plan continues to be running it back with marginal upgrades.— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) June 27, 2023
LA finished with the best record in the NBA after the trade deadline. Rob Pelinka said, "We want to try our hardest to keep this core of guys together and also improve around the edges and on the margins to not only get back to where we were last year but hopefully take the next step and get into the NBA Finals.”
The Lakers are now expected to re-sign Russell, Austin Reaves, and Rui Hachimura. They also plan to exercise the team option on Jarred Vanderbilt.
Keeping the core together is smart despite other teams making trades for more star power. Having depth around the nucleus of James and Davis has proven to work.
Re-signing Russell gives LA a reliable point guard that fits well with the roster. Look for Russell to get a deal in the range of $17-24 million per year.