Report: Lakers tried to package D’Angelo Russell for Klay Thompson

Jesse Cinquini
4 Min Read

Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes reported that the Los Angeles Lakers attempted to move D’Angelo Russell to land Klay Thompson — who agreed to join the defending Western Conference champions in the Dallas Mavericks on Monday — in a trade.

“I was told the Lakers made a pretty compelling offer,” Haynes said regarding the Lakers’ intentions of acquiring the four-time NBA champion. “It was around a three-, four-year mark somewhere along the lines of 20 million per. And they didn’t get their guy.

“And it was gonna take, obviously, a sign-and-trade scenario, so that had nothing to do with LeBron James’ decision to take less. It was gonna take a sign-and-trade to get Klay, and it did not — it just did not happen. I was told that it would have likely involved D’Angelo Russell being a part of a deal to get Klay. And from what I was told, the [Golden State] Warriors weren’t interested in bringing back D’Angelo Russell.”

Russell spent little more than a cup of coffee with the storied Warriors franchise. He played in 33 games for Golden State during the 2019-20 regular season and averaged 23.6 points on 43.0 percent shooting from the floor and 37.4 percent from deep as well as 6.2 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 0.9 steals per contest.

Arguably before Russell even had a chance to get comfortable playing for Steve Kerr and the Warriors, Golden State dealt him to the Timberwolves in February of 2020 in a trade that netted the Warriors Andrew Wiggins as well as two draft picks.

Russell is currently in his second stint with the Lakers and just a few days ago exercised his player option worth $18.7 million for the 2024-25 campaign. But Lakers fans shouldn’t be shocked by the news that Russell’s name was being thrown around in trade discussions in light of the guard’s performance in Los Angeles’ matchup against the Denver Nuggets in the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

The 28-year-old — who served as one of Los Angeles’ best offensive players during the 2023-24 regular season — averaged 14.2 points per game while shooting just 38.4 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from deep against the 2023 NBA champions, and the Lakers were eliminated in five games in the first round.

Plus, in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series, when the Lakers were in danger of falling down 0-3 and in desperate need of a victory, Russell laid an egg, considering he scored zero points and missed all seven of his shot attempts from the floor, six of which came from deep.

At least on paper, Thompson seemingly would have fit with the Lakers like a glove playing alongside one of the better playmakers in NBA history in LeBron James. But the former Warrior will still be playing with two players who can also set up their teammates at a high level in Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.