The Los Angeles Lakers turned their season around at the deadline last season thanks to acquisitions like D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt and Rui Hachimura.
Russell was exceptional for the Lakers down the stretch of the regular season and early in the postseason, providing them with much-needed shooting and energy.
While Russell struggled against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, there was no denying the impact he made in such a short time after being acquired. That resulted in him signing a two-year contract to remain with the Lakers in free agency, rejoining his starting backcourt partner Austin Reaves in L.A.
The end of last season surely left a sour taste in Russell’s mouth so he will be looking to redeem himself this year. He constantly spoke about what he and this team can do with a full training camp together, and now they will have an opportunity to show just that.
Because of that, Reaves pointed to Russell when he was asked by Lakers Nation who he thinks is in for a breakout season in 2023-24.
“That’s such a tough question because we have so many guys… I feel like for me it’s gonna be DLo,” Reaves said. “Because I feel like just, a lot of people would say that he wasn’t very consistent at the end of the year. But I feel like him having just this whole time, the training camp, preseason, all of that to kind of get actually established. Last year, all of those guys that were traded in were basically just kind of thrown out there and it was just like we’re gonna win off talent. But I think having him around and him being able to get used to playing with Bron and AD even more is just gonna benefit him. He obviously had a really good year last year, but I think this year coming is gonna be one of those ones that it’s like OK, we definitely got a bargain with him.”
Russell is coming off one of his best NBA seasons, averaging 17.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 6.2 assists while shooting a career-high from the field (46.9%) and from 3-point range (39.6%) in 71 games between the Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Rob Pelinka recently spoke about how hard Russell has worked this offseason, so it seems that everyone in the organization is expecting a breakout season for the 27-year-old.
Ham names Russell as starting point guard
Because of Russell’s struggles against the Nuggets against the postseason, he actually found himself being demoted to the bench for the team’s final game of the series.
Despite that and the addition of Gabe Vincent though, Darvin Ham announced that Russell will be the team’s starting point guard to begin the season, another vote of confidence for the ninth-year pro.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!