D’Angelo Russell is an intriguing option in free agency and he could be forced to choose between the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers.
According to Fred Roggin of NBC Los Angeles, the Lakers have a set meeting planned with D’Angelo Russell. This is especially intriguing considering Russell’s former history with the club. He was traded away as a sweetener in a salary dump to the Brooklyn Nets.
However, Magic Johnson was the one who criticized Russell on his way out and Magic recently stepped down as team president. That leaves open the possibility of a reunion in Los Angeles. In fact, it would make perfect sense.
Russell is exactly the type of player who can fit in with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. He is a capable spot-up shooter who can play without the ball in his hands. Furthermore, Russell and Davis could be deadly in the pick-and-roll.
That being said, it’s still unclear how the Nets plan to approach Russell’s impending free agency. He is still a restricted free agent so the Nets will have the right to match any offer sheet he signs. The Nets could renounce his rights to create more cap space.
If Brooklyn can’t attract Kevin Durant to come with Kyrie Irving, it would probably make more sense to stick with Russell over Irving moving forward. The lefty blossomed into a star under head coach Kenny Atkinson.
Although Irving is undoubtedly the better player right now, Russell is the Brooklyn-tested option. Irving is walking away from Boston after becoming a constant distraction and walking contradiction. For as talented as he is on the court, his off-the-court drama was undeniable in Boston.
The Nets have an interesting point guard dilemma on their hands and the prying eyes of the Los Angeles Lakers have added a new element to the intrigue.