Despite a rough showing in the Western Conference Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers decided to bring back D’Angelo Russell on a two-year contract.
Russell’s shortcomings were well-documented, but it shouldn’t take away what he was able to do during the regular season and the previous playoff series. As a secondary ball handler next to LeBron James, Russell was serviceable running the offense and knocking down outside shots when given good looks.
Even with the Gabe Vincent signing, Darvin Ham named Russell the team’s starting point guard, which he appreciated. Keeping that level of continuity in the lineup is important and Russell acknowledged that keeping the group together helps the team maintain a natural flow state.
“I think it was big time. Shoutout Rob! He put a nice group together that I think can easily flow together on and off the court,” Russell said of the Lakers’ roster. “I think that’s kind of what it’s about, continuing to have that chemistry and continuity off the floor to allow that flow to happen on the floor. So for us to have that group with some familiar faces, I think it’s a big deal.”
The former No. 2 overall pick could have left in free agency, but he explained that the chance to come back and finish what he started with L.A. was too good to pass up.
“Just the opportunity. We didn’t finish the way we wanted to so to get the opportunity to come back and start where we left off is always a privilege and something that I’m appreciative of. And then just being somewhere where you’re wanted. They made an effort to come let me know how they felt about me and it made me feel wanted and it made it easier for me to come back as well.”
Regardless of last year’s results, Russell will play a large part in the Lakers’ championship hopes and hopefully he’s ready to answer the bell when his number’s called.
D’Angelo Russell believes sky is the limit for Lakers
Most around the NBA believe the purple and gold are in the inner circle of contenders and Russell thinks that the group can achieve anything.
“We saw it right away, the group was kind of clicking as soon as we got on the floor together, we had that chemistry that usually takes a training camp or some months to kind of put together. So for us to get it going right away, I felt that. I felt that was what we needed and what we were missing, so to get that opportunity now this year, obviously the sky is the limit.”
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