D’Angelo Russell Would ‘Love’ To Remain With Lakers Long-Term
D'Angelo Russell, Lakers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously the main focus for the entire Los Angeles Lakers team remains on finishing out this season strong and preparing for what will hopefully be a long playoff run. But as the regular season nears an end, at least some focus turns towards free agency and point guard D’Angelo Russell will have an important decision to make.

Russell signed a two-year deal with the Lakers last offseason with a player option for that second season. This means Russell can opt-out and become an unrestricted free agent if he chooses to and with his outstanding play this year, he could feasibly be in line to make more than the $18 million he’s owed next year.

The 28-year-old understands the business of the NBA and admitted he plans to take advantage of the position he’s in when the time comes, but also made it clear that he would love to continue on with the Lakers going forward, via Michael Scotto of HoopsHype:

“I’d love to be here and continue to give it a run and be where my feet are now,” Russell told HoopsHype. “Obviously, I’ve been on the other side of it, and I’ve been through the roller coaster of free agency and having to sit back and wait. I’m looking forward to not having to worry about that. I’ve been blessed enough to put myself in this position with my play. I’m definitely planning on taking advantage of that. When that time comes, I feel that everything will play out how it’s supposed to play out.”

Russell is enjoying one of the best years of his NBA career, breaking the Lakers single-season 3-point record while shooting a career-high 42.3% from deep. Overall the point guard is averaging 18.2 points, 6.4 assists and a career-low 2.0 turnovers.

Following his end to last season and a playoff run in which he was not at his best, there were a lot of eyes on Russell to see how he would respond this year. In what basically amounts to a contract year, Russell noted there was a lot of pressure on him, but he felt it was important to remain even-keeled:

“It’s definitely pressure,” Russell told HoopsHype when asked what it’s like playing in a potential contract season. “It’s something that can eat a lot of people up in the league. A lot of people can be too high at times and too low at times, which causes an emotional roller coaster through the ups and downs of the season. For me, I wanted to control that. I wanted to stay sane and stay even-keeled through the ups and the downs.”

Very few predicted Russell to have the type of year he is having, but he has shown what he is capable of bringing to a good team. Without a doubt the Lakers would be far worse off without Russell’s outstanding play and want to keep him around moving forward as well so it will be on the two sides to ensure that happens this summer.

D’Angelo Russell praises ‘unpredictable’ Lakers after win over Bucks

D’Angelo Russell again played a big role in the Lakers getting a huge comeback win over the Milwaukee Bucks to kick off their six-game road trip. Russell finished with 29 points and 12 assists in the win which the Lakers got without LeBron James.

Afterwards, Russell admitted that the Lakers have been a bit ‘unpredictable’ this season with some great nights and some underwhelming ones. But the point guard praised his team for stepping up without LeBron and feels when they are locked in, they are very tough for anyone to beat.

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