Report: Orlando Magic being linked to D’Angelo Russell by folks around NBA

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

A recent report suggests that people around the NBA have linked Los Angeles Lakers floor general D’Angelo Russell to the Orlando Magic ahead of the guard’s potential free agency.

“Orlando’s the team,” Lakers insider Jovan Buha said. “Orlando is the team that — talking to people with the Lakers, talking to people outside the Lakers — Orlando is the team that probably gives them the most concern in terms of a potential suitor.”

Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs stand out as two of Magic’s two better guards right now. The former has been a serviceable scorer off the bench in his fourth season with the Magic, while the latter has emerged as one of the better defenders at his position in the NBA.

But neither player has been nearly as productive on the offensive end of the court as Russell has been for the Lakers. The 28-year-old has been a very effective scoring and playmaking threat for Los Angeles, as he is averaging 18.1 points and 6.4 assists per game on 45.9 percent shooting from the floor and 42.0 percent from deep in 68 appearances during the 2023-24 regular season.

At least on paper, the Magic could have a lot to gain from having a 3-point shooter of Russell’s caliber on their roster. Orlando is averaging just 11.0 made 3-point shots per game on the season, which is tied with the Detroit Pistons for the fewest of any NBA team.

Meanwhile, Russell is averaging 2.9 made 3s per game this season, and no player on the Magic is averaging more than 2.1.

The Magic could be an appealing destination for Russell as well. Despite having such a young team, Orlando is the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference with a record of 42-31, which is superior to the Lakers’ current record of 41-33.

Granted, the Magic have dropped three games in a row, but they are still just two games behind the New York Knicks for the No. 4 seed in the East.

Russell’s talents on the offensive side of the ball have been maximized with the Lakers this season, and he seemingly wants to remain a member of the iconic franchise. But if he declines his player option this summer, the Magic will be a team for Lakers fans to keep an eye on.

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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.