NBA free agency 2023: Lakers and D'Angelo Russell reach a two-year, $37 million agreement

NBA free agency 2023: Lakers and D’Angelo Russell reach a two-year, $37 million agreement

Last season, D’Angelo Russell’s return to the Los Angeles Lakers came to a disappointing conclusion. He merely ensured that the story will continue.
After becoming unrestricted free agent, the 27-year-old point guard agreed to a two-year, $37 million contract to stay with the Lakers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

G D’Angelo, a free agent Russell and the Los Angeles Lakers, co-heads of @CAA_Basketball, have reached an agreement on a two-year, $37 million contract. Along with Antonio Russell, Austin Brown, and Aaron Mintz, they talk to ESPN. Player option is present in the agreement. The point guard who will start for the Lakers is secured.
The Lakers also reached agreements with restricted free agents Rui Hachimura (three years, $51 million) and Austin Reaves (four years, $56 million) at the same time that Russell’s contract was signed. Additionally, the team signed Gabe Vincent to a three-year, $33 million contract, forming a point guard pairing with Russell and the former Miami Heat starter.
Russell was the biggest piece of the return the Lakers received from the three-team trade that removed Russell Westbrook from their books earlier this year at the trade deadline. The Lakers selected Russell second overall in the 2015 NBA Draught and traded him two years later, in part as a result of his infamous Snapchat incident with Nick Young. That trade brought Russell back to his original team.
Before destiny sent him back to Los Angeles, Russell spent time with the Golden State Warriors, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Brooklyn Nets before becoming an All-Star with the Brooklyn Nets.
Russell proved to be a better fit than Westbrook as the team’s starting point guard in his second stint with the Lakers. Russell shot 41.4% from beyond the arc for the Lakers, who went 12-5 in games he played in, while Westbrook was a notoriously bad shooter. During the regular season, he ended up averaging 17.4 points and 6.1 assists per game for the Laker.
But in the playoffs, the story suffered greatly. Russell did okay in the first two rounds, but his absence in the Western Conference finals was a big factor in the Lakers’ 3-0 loss to the eventual champion Denver Nuggets. “Disappearance” might be a bit generous, as his 10-for-31 shooting (2-for-15 from deep) and inability to stay in front of opponents on defence made him nearly unplayable towards the end, with only 15 minutes played in Game 4.
There were calls to bench Russell midway through the series, but according to ESPN, the Lakers were worried they would “lose” him if they did so in such a visible way. We can now see how that turned out.

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