D’Angelo Russell Was Focused On Bringing Fun Back To Lakers After Mid-Season Trade
D'Angelo Russell, Lakers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

When the trade deadline drew nearer and nearer last season, the Los Angeles Lakers were a team that needed to pick a direction. They were 13th in the Western Conference at the time with two options: throw away the season or try to salvage it. Some fans believed that the front office was going to waste a season of LeBron James and Anthony Davis due to the supposed asking price of having to trade two first-round picks in any Russell Westbrook deal.

However, a name that unexpectedly came out of nowhere was guard D’Angelo Russell along with Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt in part of a three-team deal with the Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves. It was a massive trade that brought in solidified role players while only giving up one first-round pick to the Jazz for taking Westbrook.

Russell would become a scoring threat as the starting point guard for the Lakers coming off career shooting splits with the Timberwolves, and that seemed to carry over in the small amount of regular season games with the L.A. The 6’4″ guard made an appearance on ‘The Pat Bev Podcast with Rone‘ and shared the mentality he had heading back to Los Angeles, which helped the team turn things around:

“Honestly, it was fun man cause of the buzz around the team, the Lakers was being talked about, you know what I mean? It was kinda like, like everybody was laughing at the Lakers cause we were losing at the time. So, for me it was kinda like let’s bring this new energy and we came with some guys I already knew, that were happy go lucky guys. Teams need those energy guys, not energy on the court, but energy like in the locker room, make guys laugh, make guys… you need that offset. With the Vando’s, the Beas’, we came with that energy that we just wanted to make everybody smile again, let’s make this fun again. I don’t know what it was before we left, before we got there. Not fun? Y’all were getting your ass kicked. It was fun, it was fun though, getting there and bringing that new energy, we started winning and looked up we had a chance to make a run. We had a successful little run, then we had a chance to make it to the playoffs and go further, we did that. You look up man and we’re in the Western Conference Finals and it’s like, ‘let’s keep going, let’s keep going!’ But, obviously we lost to the champions, it is hard to show up and win it all like that in this league. So, I was more than happy with our success.”

Now, the Lakers are heading into next season with a better with roster with more depth pieces after re-signing Russell and others, so it is hard to argue against them3 not being in the contenders to win it all.

With Russell, Vanderbilt, Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura all back in the fold next season, the chemistry that was brought in at the trade deadline will continue to build and grow, benefitting the Lakers in the long run.

Russell explains why he enjoys passing so much

The former Ohio State Buckeye has been given the title of being a scoring guard for essentially the whole time he’s been in the NBA. While Russell is a talented scorer though, he recently shared insight on why he likes passing the ball and providing for his teammates so much.

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