Surprising NBA Team Joins D’Angelo Russell Sweepstakes Amid Lakers Exit

Surprising NBA Team Joins D’Angelo Russell Sweepstakes Amid Lakers Exit

D’Angelo Russell’s second stint with the Los Angeles Lakers seems to be coming to an end.

After something of an up-and-down campaign in L.A., it appears as though Russell will not pick up his player option for the 2024-25 season and will instead opt to become a free agent.

While he is something of a polarizing talent, there is still no shortage of interest in him.

Over the course of the last few months, five teams have expressed some level of interest in acquiring Russell. This week, a new squad entered the D’Angelo Russell Sweepstakes.

According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, the Orlando Magic are a team to watch for Russell.

“Orlando is interested in Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell, league sources tell The Athletic. Russell has an $18.7 million player option for the 2024-25 season he can opt out of if he chooses to test the open market,” he wrote.

Russell averaged 18.0 points per game last year on 45.6 percent shooting from the field and 41.5 percent from beyond the arc. In addition, he chipped in 6.3 assists and 3.1 rebounds over the course of 69 starts and 76 total outings played.

Russell isn’t capable of being anyone’s top scoring option, but with Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner on the roster, he wouldn’t need to be that for the Magic. Instead he could comfortably be a third option in a much less stressful Eastern Conference environment.

And while Orlando obviously did great this past season by the franchise’s standards, nobody is expecting much from them. That suits Russell much more than the high-stakes, always-pressure-filled situation he faced in Los Angeles.

D’Angelo Russell Burned Bridges With The Lakers

While Russell’s talent has always been undeniable, mentally he seems to be missing a key ingredient that most great players possess.

The way he rejected a Lakers huddle and opted to angrily eat snacks on the bench instead still sticks out in people’s minds.

That being said, while his time in Los Angeles is coming to an end, Russell still has a long career ahead of him somewhere.

Which NBA team will ultimately opt to take a chance on Russell this summer? Time will tell.

Related: 2 NBA Teams Emerge As Serious Chris Paul Trade Frontrunners

Anthony Amador

A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.
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