Report: D’Angelo Russell wants to be point guard of future for Lakers

Grant Cohen
3 Min Read

D’Angelo Russell has been on a tear for the Los Angeles Lakers since returning from injury. Russell has made 11 3-pointers, tallied 17 assists and scored 61 points in his last two games combined. He wants to continue to carry that momentum into the future for the storied franchise.

On March 12, 2023, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski spoke of the desire Russell had to return to the Lakers, and his motivation to lead the team moving forward:

“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. “He wants to be the point guard of the future for this organization. He’ll be a free agent this summer.”

Russell was the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft for the Lakers. By 2017, he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets. Since then, the former Ohio State University star has bounced around the league quite a bit.

After playing in Brooklyn for two years, Russell briefly spent time with the Golden State Warriors during the 2019-20 season. The Warriors eventually traded Russell to the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he played until being traded back to the Lakers in February of 2023.

Now, the 27-year-old guard is playing inspired basketball for his former (and now current) team. The 6-foot-4 guard has certainly been an improvement at guard over Patrick Beverley, who the Lakers traded away on Feb. 9, 2023.

Russell is a much more offensive-minded player than Beverley ever was. In the absence of LeBron James, offense is exactly what the Lakers need to keep them afloat. The Lakers currently sit in the 11th spot in the Western Conference standings.

The team is fighting to secure a spot in the playoffs (or at least a spot in the play-in tournament) and will need to play their best basketball if they hope to get there while James is still out with his ankle injury. With just 14 games remaining on the Lakers’ regular season schedule, the team will likely need every ounce of offense Russell can muster moving forward.

As Wojnarowski stated, Russell will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2022-23 season. If he continues to play well for the Lakers, the team will likely have to take a hard look at re-signing him in the offseason.

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Grant Cohen is a Los Angeles resident and freelance writer for Lakers Daily. He graduated from the University of Central Florida and some of his earliest basketball memories involve watching Shaq and Kobe three-peat the early 2000s.