Just when everybody believed that the Los Angeles Lakers were going to pursue either Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker during free agency, the Purple and Gold surprised us and made some headlines with their interest in reuniting with former Laker D’Angelo Russell this summer. Good thing for them is that now the interest seems to be a mutual thing, as D’Lo is pretty interesting in going back to LA according to sources close to him.
People close to the former Ohio State University player have reportedly indicated that the point guard may be open to signing with the Los Angeles Lakers again this summer, per Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.
As it seems like Kyrie Irving is further away from the Lakers and closer to the Brooklyn Nets, Russell’s current team, it looks like the plans have changed now and Irving will instead take his talents to Brooklyn, forcing D’Angelo to be on his way out of Barclays Center. Albeit the Phoenix Suns have also shown their interest in the point guard, now that Magic Johnson is gone the Lakers look like a very good destination for him.
“Russell’s breakup with the Lakers wasn’t pretty, but it’s difficult to hold grudges in this league. With Johnson gone, some close to Russell have indicated he may be open to the idea if Brooklyn isn’t in the picture,” Pincus noted.
Two years ago, the Purple and Gold traded Russell to the Nets after the infamous Snapchat incident with Nick Young, then drafted Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Now, two years after that decision, D’Lo has turned out to be one of the best point guards in the league, becoming an All-Star and showing an impressive maturity off the court while Ball was recently traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Anthony Davis.
Russell will become a restricted free agent this offseason, but if the Nets decide to take a different path and sign Irving, the 23-year-old would become an unrestricted free agent and free to sign with any team he wants to. It would be really great to see Russell continuing his development alongside the likes of Anthony Davis and LeBron James while proving his worth in the team that traded him two summers ago.