The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly remain interested in upgrading from D’Angelo Russell at point guard but may have competition from several teams as the NBA trade deadline approaches.
“There are several teams looking for point guard help across the board,” wrote NBA insider Jake Fischer. “The Lakers are chief among backcourt buyers, sources said, with an apparent goal to upgrade at the position currently being filled by D’Angelo Russell. New York, Milwaukee and Philadelphia have all been mentioned by league personnel as interested in finding point guard reinforcements. Those teams seem to be the main clubs involved in evaluating players at the upper echelon of the position, now that Miami has acquired [Terry] Rozier. Brooklyn has also poked around on several names, sources said.”
Russell has put together a strong stretch of games since being reinserted back into the starting lineup on Jan. 13. He has scored at least 20 points in six of those seven recent starts, with a high of 39 points and another game of 34 points.
However, it may not have be enough to convince the Lakers that Russell is the solution at the position as they attempt to at least get back to the Western Conference Finals. After winning three of their past five games, they sit in ninth place in the conference with a 23-23 record.
Russell was removed from the starting lineup in December after head coach Darvin Ham reportedly discussed the move with James and Anthony Davis. For the season, the 27-year-old is averaging 16.9 points and 6.2 assists per game in 42 appearances.
He reportedly has been mentioned as part of a trade – along with rookie Jalen Hood-Schifino — should the Lakers try to acquire Dejounte Murray from the Atlanta Hawks. Murray, 27, has become one of the hottest names in the rumor mill, but the Hawks reportedly are looking for a better player in return than Russell.
For teams looking to upgrade at the guard position, Rozier came off the board recently when he was traded to the Miami Heat by the Charlotte Hornets. The Lakers reportedly were eyeing him prior to that.
In addition to Murray, the Lakers reportedly also have Bruce Brown on their wish list. An NBA champion with the Denver Nuggets last season, he was traded to the Toronto Raptors by the Indiana Pacers earlier this month in the deal that involved Pascal Siakam.
With the NBA trade deadline less than two weeks away, the Lakers do have some time to make a move and get in on the action.