What not getting traded at the NBA trade deadline means for D’Angelo Russell’s future

Now that we know D'Angelo Russell won't be getting traded this season, what does it mean for his future with the Los Angeles Lakers beyond the 2023-24 campaign?

Los Angeles Lakers v Charlotte Hornets
Los Angeles Lakers v Charlotte Hornets / David Jensen/GettyImages

After weeks of rumors and speculation about a potential roster shakeup ahead of the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers decided to stand pat with their current group of players with their sights set on a bigger offseason target.

At 39 years old and in Year 21 of his illustrious career, Lakers superstar LeBron James has been very adamant about his desire to upgrade the roster ahead of the deadline, taking to social media and riling up everyone with an emoji-gate scandal that didn’t work.

One player who consistently found himself in trade rumors for the Lakers was combo guard D’Angelo Russell, who ultimately remained in Los Angeles past the deadline.

Given Los Angeles’ lack of draft capital and reluctance to include Austin Reaves in any trades that didn’t net them a “clear-cut third All-Star,” per The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, Russell was the player dangled in trade talks.

However, there wasn’t much interest in Russell around the league. 

Amid rumors between the Lakers and Atlanta Hawks regarding a trade that would’ve revolved around Russell and Hawks combo guard Dejounte Murray, the two teams met at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, where the former heard brutal chants from the home fans during a trip to the free throw line.

Alas, DLo stays put playing alongside James and All-Star big man Anthony Davis — for now. While Russell is set to finish the 2023-24 season with the Lakers, what does not getting traded ahead of the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline mean for his future?

D'Angelo Russell survived the NBA Trade Deadline, now what?

Russell has an average base salary of $18 million annually over the next two seasons, with a player option for 2024-25. 

Given the perceived lack of expressed interest around the league in trading for DLo, he is likely to opt into the final year of his contract, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

A former All-Star in 2015-16, Russell can put up points in bunches and has developed into one of the better three-point shooters in the NBA. 

His ability to stretch the floor makes him an ideal complementary fit alongside James and Davis. The Lakers' lack of consistent perimeter shooting makes DLo an essential piece of the rotation.

Shooting 41.6 percent from beyond the arc on over six attempts per game, Russell is enjoying the best shooting season of his career.

Moreover, his secondary playmaking and on-ball shot creation is critical for the Lakers as they look to manage King James’ load throughout the season with hopes of making a lengthy playoff run. DLo is dishing out 6.2 assists per game, trailing only James among Los Angeles’ assist leaders.

Overall, Russell is more essential to the Lakers and their success than front offices around the league seem to give him credit for.

Will D'Angelo Russell be with the Los Angeles Lakers next season?

Assuming teams don’t change their stance on DLo between now and the offseason, he will likely don the purple and gold again next season. 

Moreover, Russell will likely have his name floated in trade rumors heading into the 2025 NBA Trade Deadline. His expiring contract could be considered a positive asset and potential salary filler in any move Los Angeles tries to make.

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