D'Angelo Russell Not Shy About Lack of Loyalty to Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers guard is already weighing his options for next season.
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers wrapped up their 2023-24 campaign with a first-round loss to the Denver Nuggets. Now that their season has come to a premature end, it's time for the Lakers to turn their attention to the offseason.

Following the Game 5 loss in Denver, members of the team gave us an insight into what to expect in the offseason. Obviously, the future of Darvin Ham and LeBron James will occupy most of the discourse, but general manager Rob Pelinka has plenty of decisions to make on other fronts as well.

One of those is the D'Angelo Russell situation. The 28-year-old guard had a good regular season before struggling in the playoffs once again. At the same time, the Lakers desperately needed him because of their lack of depth and offensive firepower.

Russell has a player option worth $18.7 million for the 2024-25 season. He shed a light on his plans after the game.

D'Angelo Russell Signals His Departure in the Offseason

Saying that he wants to "take advantage" of the little leverage he has, Russell sounds like he wants to weigh his options in the offseason. The former All-Star signed a two-year, $36 million deal last offseason with a player option for the second season. He can either opt-out and get a longer-term deal with more guaranteed money, or opt-in and extend with the Lakers if the team is willing to do it.

One thing he is likely not going to do is opt in and play on an expiring contract. This would not only make him vulnerable in trade talks, but it would also cost him some money long-term if he were to suffer an injury or have a down season.

If he were to opt out, Russell can likely get around $20 million per year for multiple seasons. Considering that he is constantly scapegoated in Los Angeles for his postseason struggles, he may want to take his talents elsewhere and get paid at the same time.

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