D'Angelo Russell returning to Lakers on 2-year, $37M deal

ByDave McMenamin ESPN logo
Saturday, July 1, 2023

D'Angelo Russellagreed to a two-year, $37 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, co-heads of CAA Basketball Austin Brown and Aaron Mintz along with Antonio Russell told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Saturday.

The deal includes a player option for the second year.

Originally drafted by the Lakers with the No. 2 pick in 2015, Russell returned to L.A. in February as part of a three-team deal between the Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz, coming from the Wolves to replace the outgoing Russell Westbrook.

Russell, 27, averaged 17.4 points on 48.4% from the field and 41.4% from 3 with 6.1 assists in 17 regular season games after the trade. The Lakers went 12-5 in those games with a plus-7.3 points per game differential, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

His numbers dipped to 13.3 points on 42.6% shooting overall (31% from 3) and 4.6 assists in the postseason and he struggled mightily against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference finals, averaging 6.8 points on 32.2% shooting in the series and losing his starting spot in Game 4.

Still, prior to the drop-off against Denver, L.A. won 18 out of 24 games down the stretch in the regular season, through the play-in tournament and the first two rounds of the playoffs with Russell providing shooting and playmaking alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

The Lakers have mostly run back the core of the team that reached the Western Conference finals, retaining Russell,Rui Hachimuraand Austin Reaves.

The Lakers also agreed to deals with guard Gabe Vincent, forwards Taurean Prince and Cam Reddish and big man Jaxson Hayes, providing the team more depth across the board.

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