D'Angelo Russell of the Los Angeles Lakers
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D'Angelo Russell intends to re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Published March 27, 2024 at 7:23 PM

In his prime, Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell is showcasing career-best performance, coinciding with his player option for $18.7 million next season. While undecided, he leans towards staying. This season, Russell's efficiency surpasses his All-Star tenure in Brooklyn, shooting 42.3% from beyond the arc. Since the birth of his son Riley in September 2022, Russell has averaged 18.0 points, shooting 46.6% from the field and 40.9% from 3-point range, with 6.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds, boasting a plus-215 rating in 137 games.

"I'd love to be here and continue to give it a run and be where my feet are now," Russell told HoopsHype. "Obviously, I've been on the other side of it, and I've been through the roller coaster of free agency and having to sit back and wait. I'm looking forward to not having to worry about that. I've been blessed enough to put myself in this position with my play. I'm definitely planning on taking advantage of that. When that time comes, I feel that everything will play out how it's supposed to play out."

The Lakers are expected to surpass the salary cap this summer, likely entering taxpaying territory unless Russell and LeBron James opt out, a scenario considered improbable. Consequently, LA's options for roster enhancements are limited to resources like the taxpayer mid-level exception and minimum salaries. When asked about his free agency plans, Russell expressed his desire to remain with the Lakers to HoopsHype. Additionally, Russell has been instrumental in setting a new Lakers' single-season record for 3-pointers made (192 and counting) and has performed well in clutch situations, making 37.5 percent of the team's clutch time 3-pointers.

Should Russell opt out and become an unrestricted free agent, the Lakers would likely prioritize retaining him due to his stellar performance this season and the challenge of replacing his contributions within their salary constraints. However, other teams with financial flexibility may also pursue Russell in free agency, recognizing the need for point guard assistance.

The experienced guard further mentioned the significant pressure of playing in what essentially amounts to a contract year.

"It's definitely pressure," Russell said. "It's something that can eat a lot of people up in the league. A lot of people can be too high at times and too low at times, which causes an emotional roller coaster through the ups and downs of the season. For me, I wanted to control that. I wanted to stay sane and stay even-keeled through the ups and the downs."

Source RealGM : D'Angelo Russell Prefers To Stay With Lakers
Source Hoopshype : Is Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell an underrated free agent?
March 27   |   2 answers
D'Angelo Russell intends to re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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