D’Angelo Russell’s past hopes of snagging a nine-figure contract may be diminished after the way his season with the Los Angeles Lakers ended.
Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports revealed that Russell was looking for a four-year deal worth over $100 million before he was traded to L.A.
“Then there’s the matter of Russell, who was seeking a new deal worth upward of $100 million over four years when he was with the [Minnesota] Timberwolves, sources said,” wrote Fischer. “After an inconsistent postseason, it’s hard to imagine many bidders for Russell at that price point.”
Russell was acquired by the Lakers in February and was effective in helping get them on track for a spot in the playoffs. However, after the Lakers unexpectedly reached the Western Conference Finals, Russell watched his financial position deteriorate to a certain extent.
That’s due to his performance during the sweep by the Denver Nuggets in those conference finals. After a trio of weak performances during the first three games of that series, Russell came off the bench for just under 15 minutes in L.A.’s Game 4 defeat.
In his four games, Russell scored a total of just 25 points and handed out a combined 14 assists. Also, he was just 10-of-31 from the field and a miserable 2-of-15 from beyond the arc during the series.
Numbers like those usually don’t translate into huge new contracts. Of course, basing a deal on that four-game sample might not be a fair representation of Russell’s value.
Russell was reportedly seen as a “positive presence” after joining L.A. The Lakers could see the Nuggets games as an aberration, though they may be in a better negotiating situation if other teams don’t express interest in the guard.
If Russell were to leave, it would mark the end of his second tenure with the Lakers. His first run lasted two years and came after the Lakers selected him with the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
What followed was stints with three different teams before he found his way back to L.A.
Russell has also reportedly indicated that he’d be happy to stay with the Lakers, where he’d like to be the team’s point guard of the future.
That vision might not materialize, but will be one of many storylines during the coming offseason.