Lakers Rumors: L.A. & D’Angelo Russell Have Mutual Interest In Contract Extension
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a successful second stint with the Los Angeles Lakers so far for D’Angelo Russell as he’s helped the team to two wins since being acquired at the trade deadline.

Russell’s most recent game against the New Orleans Pelicans offered a glimpse at how he can fit next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis as another scorer and playmaker. The guard played perfectly to the home crowd, who cheered him on and he later said he was simply embracing playing in front of the fans again.

Regardless of how the 2022-23 season ends up, Russell is a piece that the front office should be considering for the long haul and according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, it seems both sides are interested in staying together past this season:

“D’Angelo Russell returns at the Lakers at 26 years old and in the final year of a four-year, $117 million contract. I think both the Lakers and D’Angelo Russell have already expressed to each other an interest in starting a conversation on a contract extension. Russell could be a free agent this summer but the Lakers traded for him giving up as part of that package a first-round pick and two second-round picks not to be a rental but to be a solution at that point guard position. So expect D’Angelo Russell and the Lakers to really start engaging on those extension talks here in the next weeks and months into the offseason.”

Locking up a former All-Star to a long-term deal would be a smart move for the Lakers, who have spent the past couple of seasons rebuilding the roster on the fly. Re-signing Russell would help preserve some continuity and chemistry and give them a player that can help them build for the future once James leaves or retires.

It’s hard to imagine Russell and L.A. agreeing to an extension before the season is over, so talks will surely get more serious once the offseason is here. Should Russell continue his impressive play on the court, he’ll be in line for a lucrative new deal that keeps him in purple and gold for years to come.

Kyrie Irving to Lakers still a possibility in summer

While trading for Russell meant likely retaining him past this season, the Lakers have never been shy about trying to attract bonafide superstars. For example, Los Angeles was heavily tied to Kyrie Irving at the trade deadline before he was ultimately sent to the Dallas Mavericks.

Although Irving said he is committed to the Mavericks this year, he is set to become an unrestricted free agent and the Lakers could possibly sign him if things break right.

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