D'Angelo Russell Opts for $18.7M Player Option, Stays with Lakers

D'Angelo Russell showcases mixed results in Lakers tenure

by Zain ul Abedin
D'Angelo Russell Opts for $18.7M Player Option, Stays with Lakers
© Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The young and talented point guard of the LA Lakers D’Angelo Russell, likely to exercise his $18.77 million option to stay another year, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. This is a decision made at what seems to be the right time for the Lakers, who signed Russell in a trade at the 2023 deadline.

If I am not mistaken, last year, he inked a two-year deal with his team, which involved the option that he has decided to exercise this time. Nevertheless, relying on constant trade speculations and possible exits, Russell’s decision to remain with the Lakers is the team’s key strength and one of its main assets.

He plays a relatively crucial role in the team’s rotation; therefore, Russell can remain the starting point guard or be used in a trade since his salary is quite high.

Russell's Playoff Struggles

Russell has been relatively ferocious in the regular seasons during his recent time with the Lakers.

In the second half of the particular 2022/2023 season he was scoring on average 17. 4 points in 17 games, and in the next year played on average 18 points per 6 - 3 assists per game. Of particular interest, he was record-breaking for the star, averaging 226 three - pointers for the Lakers’ last season.

However, the playoff performances have been a let-down, especially his poor performances against the Denver Nuggets in the playoffs. In the 2023 NBA Western Conference finals and the following first round, Russell’s performance significantly dropped to an average of 6, Three points per game, and his shooting percentage was under 39%.

Russell indeed brings the much-needed offenses, but defensive issues and the inability to guarantee the same performance in playoffs present problems for the Lakers team, especially when the team targets a championship run.

The fact that he stayed with the team, however, means that the Lakers can include him as a valuable piece of discourse when discussing trades. They require his salary for some leeway, and other players include Rui Hachimura, Austin Reaves, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Gabe Vincent from the rest that can be traded, too.

The roster of the team from Los Angeles Lakers is evolving through changes with new players from the NBA draft and JJ Redick appointed as the head coach. Though such changes have been effected, the major need here lies in the ability to raise the stakes, so to speak, for the new season.

In the meantime, retention of Russel’s contract contributes to the creation of a more proper team, which serves for achieving the goals in response to the desire of LeBron James to get the new championship.