LeBron James breaks his silence on D’Angelo Russell amid Lakers trade rumors

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James showed love to guard D’Angelo Russell on social media on Monday.

Russell shared how much fun he’s having playing with the Lakers after the team’s blowout win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night.

The lefty guard had a great game against Portland, scoring 34 points on 14-of-21 shooting from the field. He also had eight assists for Los Angeles in the win.

Over his last five games since returning to the starting lineup, Russell has been making the most of his opportunity, putting up 27.2 points per game while shooting an impressive 55.9 percent from the field and 53.7 percent from 3.

Russell has been the subject of trade rumors heading into this season’s deadline, but he appeared to make it clear he wants to stay with the Lakers with his latest social media activity.

James certainly appears to be supporting the Lakers guard, who is in his second stint with the franchise that picked him in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Overall this season, the former No. 2 overall pick is averaging 16.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game while shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from 3-point range.

The Lakers brought in Russell at the trade deadline last season, and he helped spark the team on a run to the playoffs. The Lakers earned the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference, and they eventually went on to beat the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors in the playoffs.

While Los Angeles’ run fizzled out in the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets, the team still showed that it could compete with some of the NBA’s best squads last season.

Now, the Lakers are faced with a tough decision regarding Russell – and other players – when it comes to the trade deadline.

The Lakers could move a player like Russell if they view another player as an upgrade in the trade market. However, if Russell has the support of James, the Lakers may take the opinion of the four-time NBA champion into consideration before making any deal.

A one-time All-Star, Russell signed a two-year contract with the Lakers this past offseason.

The second season on the deal is a player option, which means Russell could opt in and stay with the Lakers (he would make over $18 million if he opts in), or he could opt out and test free agency.

The NBA’s trade deadline is set for Feb. 8.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.