Report: Lakers would prefer to use D’Angelo Russell in sign-and-trade

Jason Simpson
3 Min Read

Although D’Angelo Russell had a legitimate hand in helping the Los Angeles Lakers reach the 2023 NBA Playoffs, the 27-year-old’s deficiencies came out to play in the postseason.

As a result, many believe that the Lakers need to explore other options at the point guard position, making Russell’s future a bit murky. He’s a free agent this offseason.

Lakers insider Jovan Buha thinks L.A.’s preference is to use Russell in a sign-and-trade, but there are no guarantees that the market will cooperate.

“My read on the situation is that the Lakers would prefer to use D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade, but I’m not sure the market is there,” Buha wrote for The Athletic.

Buha continued.

“If ranking the probabilities for Russell’s future, I’d go: 1) The Lakers re-sign Russell; 2) The Lakers renounce his cap hold and let him walk; 3) The Lakers sign-and-trade him,” he wrote.

Russell played in 17 regular season games for the Lakers after being traded to the team in February. He averaged 17.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game while shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 41.4 percent from deep. His production was very solid.

In the playoffs, however, his production and efficiency dipped. Across 16 games, he averaged 13.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game while shooting 42.6 percent from the field and 31.0 percent from 3-point range.

Russell seemingly hit rock bottom during L.A.’s series against the Denver Nuggets, as he averaged just 6.3 points per game and saw a decrease in playing time.

The former lottery pick had a reputation as an iffy playoff performer even before the Lakers acquired him this season, so they likely knew they were rolling the dice in that regard. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to shake that image this year.

It’s interesting that Buha sees Russell re-signing with the Lakers as the most likely outcome for all involved parties. That may just be Buha’s opinion, but it’s a possibility that evidently can’t be ruled out.

If Russell were to return to the Lakers next season and possibly beyond, they’d need him to take a step forward as a big-game player.

It’s going to be an important offseason for Los Angeles in many ways, as they have multiple key players with uncertain futures looming. Russell is certainly one of them, and it’ll be interesting to see what’s next for him.

Share This Article
Jason is excited about the LeBron James era of Lakers basketball and hopes that the end result will be multiple championships.