D’Angelo Russell says he wants to stay with Lakers, plans to take advantage of spot he’s in

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell — who could become a free agent this summer if he opts to decline his player option for the 2024-25 campaign — recently made some intriguing comments regarding his potential free agency.

“I’d love to be here and continue to give it a run and be where my feet are now,” Russell told HoopsHype. “Obviously, I’ve been on the other side of it, and I’ve been through the roller coaster of free agency and having to sit back and wait. I’m looking forward to not having to worry about that. I’ve been blessed enough to put myself in this position with my play. I’m definitely planning on taking advantage of that. When that time comes, I feel that everything will play out how it’s supposed to play out.”

Since the start of the new year, Russell has arguably been one of the most productive guards in the league. He has averaged 20-plus points and six-plus assists per game in each of the first three months of 2024.

Also, he is averaging 20.9 points, 6.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game on 44.9 percent shooting from the field and 44.8 percent from 3-point range so far in the month of March.

His play has been key to the Lakers’ current four-game winning streak, considering he has scored 27 points or more in two of those games.

The Lakers managed to beat the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday without LeBron James in the lineup thanks in part to Russell’s scoring outburst. He totaled 29 points on 5-of-12 shooting from deep to go along with 12 assists.

Russell has been able to stay on the floor for the most part in the 2023-24 regular season, as he has participated in all but six of the Lakers’ 72 regular-season contests and is averaging 18.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game.

Los Angeles’ winning streak has the team in striking distance of a top-seven seed in the Western Conference. With 10 games remaining on their regular-season schedule, the Lakers are two games back of the Sacramento Kings for the No. 7 seed and three games behind the Dallas Mavericks for the conference’s No. 6 seed.

The storied franchise is also two-and-a-half games ahead of the Golden State Warriors, who are directly behind the Lakers in the standings as the No. 10 seed.

Suppose the Lakers qualify for the playoffs and Russell is able to parlay his play during the last few months of the regular season into the playoffs. In that case, Los Angeles would likely be a difficult team to eliminate.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.