Latest D'Angelo Russell News Paint Bleak Picture for Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers may find it more challenging than they initially thought to find D'Angelo Russell a new home.
Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers failed in their attempts to acquire Klay Thompson in free agency as the veteran sharpshooter signed with the Dallas Mavericks on Monday. This is obviously a major blow for the Lakers who are desperately trying to surround LeBron James and Anthony Davis with more shooting.

Perhaps more concerning, however, is the reason why the Lakers couldn't sign Thompson. According to Chris Haynes of the Bleacher Report, the Lakers offered $20 million per year, significantly more money than the three-year, $50 million contract Thompson reportedly signed in Dallas. Because the Lakers don't have the necessary cap space for this deal to go through, it had to be a sign-and-trade with the Warriors. The Lakers offered D'Angelo Russell and his expiring contract to the Warriors as part of the deal but they turned it down.

Lakers News: Warriors Turned Down Sign-and-Trade Offer for Klay Thompson

In the sign-and-trade with the Mavericks, Golden State received two second-round picks, meaning that they preferred two second-rounders over D'Angelo Russell.

This is a terrible sign for Russell's market. The 28-year-old point guard opted into his player option before free agency started, demonstrating the tepid market for his services in free agency. This made him a trade candidate as the Lakers try to improve the roster.

Yet, the fact that the Warriors wouldn't even bring him in as an expired contract that they can later use in a trade shows how little value he has around the league.

It is hard to foresee the Lakers starting the season with Russell in their rotation. It's also not easy to think of a trade scenario in which the other team treats him as a positive-value contract. In any potential deal, the Lakers will have to add a young player like Dalton Knecht or Jalen Hood-Schifino or one of their first-round picks to sweeten the deal, making their roster construction that much more difficult for next season.

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