Lakers Rumors: D’Angelo Russell Will Have Leverage Because Of Player Option For 2024-25 Season
D'Angelo Russell, Lakers
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell seemed like he was on his way out after a rough December during the 2023-24 season.

Russell fell off offensively and got benched as a result. However, head coach Darvin Ham opted to insert back into the lineup shortly after and he took off shooting the basketball.

The former No. 2 overall pick played well despite all the trade rumors and LeBron James praised him for not wavering throughout.

Now, Russell will be in the driver’s seat heading into the offseason because he holds a player option for the 2024-25 season that the Lakers will need him to pick up if they hope to make a splash in a trade, via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

“That $18 million player option that D’Angelo Russell has on his contract next season, that was a huge part of the negotiations with Russell and Austin Brown the head of basketball at CAA when they did that two-year, $37 million deal with the Lakers last year. And now it becomes an increasing point of leverage for Russell as we get closer to the offseason especially with the tear he’s on right now at 22 points a game, 44 percent 3-point shooting and a 27-game stretch where the Lakers have gone 17-10. Obviously you can opt out of the deal, test free agency, the Lakers could lose him for nothing.

“But if the Lakers want to do a big trade at the draft, they need D’Angelo Russell to opt into that deal and agree to go to the team they would move him to. The Lakers would need his contract to attach the picks to do something big. So I think for D’Angelo Russell you have seen for him especially in the eyes of teams around the league how is he impacting winning. He is doing that now with the Lakers and it’s gonna give him some more leverage as we head into the offseason.”

Russell’s $18 million player option is a sizable salary that would need to be included in just about any sort of deal for a star player. It’s an interesting situation to say the least and one that bears monitoring come June, especially if Russell continues to finish the season strong.

D’Angelo Russell credits Draymond Green for showing importance of being vocal in film sessions

Since he’s been on a hot streak, D’Angelo Russell’s taken more ownership of the offense and has taken film days more seriously. Russell credits former Golden State Warriors teammate Draymond Green for showing him the importance of being vocal during film sessions.

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