Los Angeles Lakers are doubling-down on D’Angelo Russell despite ongoing trade rumors.
Credit: Fadeaway World
After being the highlight of trade rumors for weeks, Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell has played his way out of the trade block with a stellar stretch of play. According to insider Adrian Wojnarowski, D’Lo is no longer “widely available” as he was considered at the start of the New Year.
“The [Lakers] calculus has changed in recent weeks with the re-emergence of D’Angelo Russell as their point guard. He’s playing some of his best basketball as a pro and maybe three weeks to a month ago, he was very available and I think the Lakers thought there might be some opportunities to upgrade on him. That isn’t the case right now,” said Wojnarowski on the Lakers.
The noise was very loud for Russell and there were signs that the team was frustrated with his lack of production. Going back to last month, the Lakers hit rock bottom when a rough stretch of play resulted in a free-fall down the standings. During the stretch, D’Angelo was struggling with his shot and came off the bench for a time as Darvin Ham looked for any way to stop the bleeding. But at seemingly the perfect time, D’Lo sparked back into life and he’s been on fire in recent weeks as a scorer, initiator, and ball-handler for the Purple and Gold. He’s been everything the Lakers have needed in a point guard alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis and if he can stay consistent throughout the season, it will make things a lot easier when they’re fighting for the playoffs this spring. Now, the only concern is who else the Lakers will pursue and which players are in their grasp, considering they want to avoid giving up D’Angelo.
The Los Angeles Lakers Will Be Hunting For Trades
Even despite the play of Russell, the Lakers are still outside the top six and very far from being able to keep up with the top contenders such as the Nuggets, Thunder, and the red-hot Los Angeles Clippers. Reluctant as they may be to give up any future assets, LeBron’s advanced age demands that they sacrifice everything to chase another title. But who will the Lakers ultimately get with their remaining assets?
One potential name is Hawks star Trae Young, who gives the Lakers some of everything that they need. With averages of 27.3 points, 10.9 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game on 43.5% shooting, he’s been a star for the Hawks and he’d breathe new life into the Lakers with his scoring and ability to create shots for his teammates. Alternatively, the Lakers could also trade for his teammate, Dejounte Murray, who would provide better defense and scoring in a more minor role for the Lakers. So far, the Hawks have not come close to accepting any offer for their backcourt but anything is subject to change before tomorrow’s deadline.
Other players that the Lakers could pursue include Bruce Brown, Alex Caruso, and Spencer Dinwiddie. For now, the Lakers are keeping all options open as the clock approaches zero and they will not shut down any ideas to improve their standing and strengthen their roster around LeBron James. But don’t expect Rob Pelinka to trade for just anybody, especially when the team’s resources are already run so dry.