There reportedly isn’t a ton of trade interest around the NBA in Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell.
“And if you do wanna look at potential trade scenarios, the strategy of re-signing D’Angelo Russell to a theoretical, tradable salary at $20 million, I’m not seeing — and not hearing from my calls around the league — a ton of interest in that trade chip coming back,” Jake Fischer said. “I don’t really know what the Lakers are gonna be able to do to upgrade this team if they’re not sending Austin Reaves out the door, which of course they don’t wanna do that.”
The Lakers inked Russell to a two-year contract extension in the 2023 offseason after he averaged 17.4 points and 6.1 assists per game across 17 appearances (all starts) with Los Angeles during the 2022-23 regular season.
So far in his fourth season as a member of the Lakers, Russell is averaging 14.8 points, 2.9 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game while shooting 46.6 percent from the floor and 38.8 percent from behind the 3-point line.
Russell has missed three straight games for the Lakers after he suffered a tailbone injury in the team’s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Dec. 30. In 20 minutes of playing time against the Timberwolves, he accumulated five points and three assists while shooting just 1-of-4 from the field.
The 27-year-old put together arguably his best performance of the last few weeks in an earlier matchup against his former team in the Timberwolves on Dec. 21. First, he played well on the offensive end of the floor, as he finished with 17 points and eight assists compared to four turnovers in 38 minutes of play.
But Russell also made his presence felt on the defensive end, seeing as how he accumulated two steals and three blocks in a game the Lakers lost by seven points.
The Lakers have yet to win a game since Russell has been out of the lineup with his tailbone injury. Los Angeles lost to the New Orleans Pelicans by 20 points on New Year’s Eve, Miami Heat by 14 on Jan. 3 and Memphis Grizzlies by 14 on Jan. 5.
Following their most recent loss to the Grizzlies, the Lakers own just the 11th-best record in the Western Conference and are two-and-a-half games back of the Phoenix Suns for the No. 8 seed in the conference.
On the bright side, Russell’s return to the floor for Los Angeles could be on the horizon. He is likely to play in the Lakers’ home game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night.