D’Angelo Russell is arguably the most promising of all the young players on the Los Angeles Lakers roster. He showed flashes of excellence in his rookie season but struggled with consistency and immaturity both on and off the court.
With the Lakers looking to improve sooner rather than later there have been trade rumors surrounding the team and with Russell being the team’s most promising young player, it only makes sense that his name would pop up.
General Manager Mitch Kupchak has apparently done his part to calm Russell, however, as Mark Medina of the LA Daily News reports that Kupchak texted him to tell him not to worry about the rumors:
D'Angelo Russell not worried about trade rumors for a simple reason. He said Mitch Kupchak texted him and said not to worry about it.
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) June 22, 2016
In the NBA, anything can happen, but the chances of the Lakers moving on from Russell after only one season would seem slim. Getting rid of someone with his potential would only make sense if they were getting a star player in return. Otherwise, the Lakers are basically admitting that they got it wrong with Russell, and it is simply too early to judge that.
With new head coach Luke Walton coming on board with his new offensive system, Russell seems like a perfect fit and could flourish next season. Russell himself even spoke about being excited to get back on the floor after listening to Walton during his introductory press conference.
If the right deal appears, the Lakers may very well move on from Russell, but that’s unlikely to happen. Allowing Russell to grow with the rest of this young core and Walton is likely the way the Lakers will choose to go.