Lakers Free Agency Rumors: L.A. ‘Trending Toward’ Bringing Back D’Angelo Russell On Team-Friendly Contract
D'Angelo Russell, Lakers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Point guard D’Angelo Russell continues to be one of the biggest question marks for the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason. Rob Pelinka has been very open about his desire to bring most of the core of last season’s team back, but Russell’s play down the stretch of the postseason left a lot to be desired.

While Russell was very good down the stretch of the regular season and had his moments in the playoffs, he was awful in the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets. As such, there were questions about just how much the Lakers would be willing to pay the unrestricted free agent, if they wanted to bring him back at all.

But with the start of free agency approaching, it looks as if a return to the purple and gold is in order. According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Lakers are leaning toward bringing Russell back on a two-year deal:

The other strong word out of Hollywood is that the Lakers are trending toward bringing back D’Angelo Russell after acquiring from the Timberwolves at February’s trade deadline. Early indications are that Russell and the Lakers could come to terms on a two-year, $40 million deal with the second year a team option or non-guaranteed.

This kind of move would be excellent for the Lakers as it isn’t a massive contract and it maintains flexibility with that second year. If this were to come to fruition, this would basically be a one-year deal that the Lakers could easily get out of a year from now if they choose to.

It is also a big enough deal that it could be used in a potential trade down the line if the Lakers want to make a move during the season. In essence, this deal checks all boxes for the Lakers. For Russell, however, it wouldn’t give him much long-term security that many players prefer, but is a good short-term payday.

This kind of deal could also be a sign of Russell’s market around the league. If there isn’t much outside competition, than this hypothetical Lakers deal could be the best of the bunch.

Dennis Schroder eager to see what Lakers offer him in free agency

The Lakers’ other point guard from last year, Dennis Schroder, is also an unrestricted free agent and, like Russell, it is unclear just what his market is around the league as well. Schroder wants to return to L.A. and the veteran is curious about what kind of deal the Lakers will offer him.

In a recent interview, Schroder said that what the Lakers bring to the table will show him if they appreciate what he brought to the team last season. The veteran added that he understands it is a business and there are tough decisions that need to be made, but made clear his desire to remain with the team.

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