Lakers Video: Rookie D’Angelo Russell Includes LeBron James & Anthony Davis In All-Time Starting Five He’d Want To Play With
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers’ reacquisition of D’Angelo Russell in a three-team trade at the deadline seemingly came out of nowhere.

The Lakers were rumored to be in talks with the Utah Jazz in a deal surrounding Russell Westbrook and the return would have included Jazz guard Mike Conley, not Russell. However, it seems the Lakers are interested in Russell not only for his immediate contribution but also for the future. Rob Pelinka sees Russell not just as a player for a short-term rental.

Russell, of course, spent two seasons in L.A. after being drafted No. 2 by the Lakers in 2015. He had a tumultuous run in purple and gold — his first year was Kobe Bryant’s final season and a rift with Nick Young in his rookie season didn’t make things any better. He was eventually traded in 2017 for Brook Lopez and Kyle Kuzma.

An interview from Russell’s rookie year in L.A. resurfaced on Twitter days after the trade. Russell was asked about his all-time starting five and included two future Lakers who are now teammates in LeBron James and Anthony Davis:

The eerie part is that neither James nor Davis were part of the Lakers at the time. However, Russell spoke it into existence. No one would have blamed you if you never thought it would happen, however.

The Lakers were repeatedly ghosted by top free agents and failed to get the job done once they secured meetings with players. Kobe’s large contract had their cap space limited and his final season pushed players away. Everything obviously changed once LeBron joined the Lakers in 2018, serving as a gateway for free agents to flock to Hollywood.

There obviously will be a transition for Russell now that he’s back with the team, especially playing alongside LeBron and Davis. Russell and AD were in constant communication during the guard’s first game and with the Lakers in need of a playoff push, any chemistry issues will have to be fixed as soon as possible.

D’Angelo Russell understands it will take time for the Lakers to gel

After the Lakers’ loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday slid L.A. further down the standings, Russell provided an honest assessment of the situation. He pointed out that it’s up to the Lakers regarding if they’ll bounce back and jump in the standings or make excuses for their poor play.

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