Lakers Rumors: D’Angelo Russell On Magic’s Radar But Not For Big Money
D'Angelo Russell, Lakers, Nuggets, Magic
Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

While much of the focus goes towards potential roster additions the Los Angeles Lakers could make this offseason, there are also some players currently on the team that have big decisions to make as well. Arguably the biggest possible free agent on the roster right now is point guard D’Angelo Russell.

Russell is coming off his best season in a Lakers jersey and thrived as the team’s third best player, though his playoff struggles reared their head once again. The point guard now has a big decision to make as he has a player option for next year worth $18.6 million. It is believed he will likely decline it and hit free agency, with one team known to be interested being the Orlando Magic.

However the Magic’s interest may be limited. On the latest episode of the No Cap Room podcast, Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer noted that while Russell is on the Magic’s radar, it would not be for more money than what he could make if he picks up his player option with the Lakers:

“I haven’t talked to anyone in Orlando. I will admit publicly about D’Angelo Russell being on their radar but I can guarantee you he is not on the Orlando Magic radar for more money than what he is potentially on the books for in LA.”

Russell has been open about his desire to hit free agency and secure a long-term deal be it with the Lakers or elsewhere. The Magic make a lot of sense for Russell as they are in dire need of some offensive firepower and 3-point shooting. The promising team’s lack of offensive creators was exposed in their playoff series loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But if the Magic, or any other team, aren’t willing to pay big money for Russell, it could increase the chances that he simply picks up his player option and remains with the Lakers, which would be big for the team this offseason.

Russell could still take his chances in free agency with the belief that he can sign a lucrative long-term deal. But if he were to pick up that player option, it gives the Lakers another nice contract they could include in an offseason trade, or the franchise simply brings back one of its most important players from last year.

Cavaliers not entertaining trade offers from Lakers or any other team for core players

One potential target the Lakers may have had their eye on is Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, or perhaps their young point guard Darius Garland. But it looks as if neither is going anywhere this offseason.

There is reportedly growing expectation around the NBA that Mitchell will sign a contract extension with the Cavaliers and the franchise is not entertaining offers on Mitchell or any of their core players including Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.

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