D’Angelo Russell Believes He Had ‘Hell Of A Year’ For Lakers
D'Angelo Russell, Lakers, Nuggets
Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell had a better showing in the playoffs this year, and will now go into the offseason with an important decision to make.

Russell has a player option for the 2024-25 season, but is likely to opt out after having a career-year from beyond the arc. The Lakers would prefer to have Russell opt in to his option, but the guard understands he’ll have leverage in any negotiation because he could just simply walk for nothing.

While the guard had some poor playoff games again, there’s no denying the effect he had on the Lakers when he had it going from the field. Russell’s knack for hitting high-difficult 3-pointers and energizing his teammates shouldn’t go unnoticed when evaluating his performance.

In 76 regular season games, Russell averaged 18.0 points and 6.3 assists while shooting a career-best 41.5% from 3-point range on 7.2 attempts.

Russell has never lacked confidence in himself and expressed that when evaluating his 2023-24 season.

“Hell of a year by D’Angelo. Humbly saying that,” Russell said. “Through the ups and downs, through the whatever you want to call it, it never bothered me. Always kept myself sane, when I look at my phone, my family, my friends, my circle is just texting me telling me how proud they are of me.

“So for me, that’s all I need. I don’t need anything else.”

Russell was one of the most scrutinized players on the roster because of his inconsistency from game-to-game, but once the guard decided to block out the outside noise he became a completely different player. Even when he shared the floor with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, he called his own number a handful of times down the stretch of close games and delivered.

Although Russell should rightfully say he had a strong year, his market might take a hit in free agency after he disappeared for a couple of games in the series against the Denver Nuggets. His hot-and-cold nature could be enough to scare off teams in the trade market while the teams with cap space might not want to offer much.

There’s a possibility that Russell is forced to pick up his option, but it remains to be seen what will happen.

D’Angelo Russell fined $25,000 for verbally abusing official after Game 5

It was a heartbreaking Game 5 loss for the Lakers, who saw Jamal Murray hit another game-winner on the Nuggets’ home floor. A few days later, the NBA announced that D’Angelo Russell had been fined $25,000 for verbally abusing an official after the game was over.

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