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Lakers News: Why Los Angeles Should Re-Sign D’Angelo Russell

All Lakers on FanNation 4/1/2023 Alex Kirschenbaum
© Provided by All Lakers on FanNation

LA's prodigal point guard has been terrific in a limited sample size.

Since being reunited with the team that drafted him in 2015 out of Ohio State, returning Los Angeles Lakers point guard D'Angelo Russell has been exactly what the doctor ordered.

Prior to tonight's exciting win against D-Lo's old team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, Russell had been making quite the case for being inked to a long term deal with Los Angeles once he reaches unrestricted free agency this summer.

Per Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet, Russell's two-way play has been surprisingly adept. His 13.9 net rating across his first 12 games since re-joining the team (comprising a 121.1 offensive rating and a 107.2 defensive rating) are leaps and bounds the best on the club. Across his 371 minutes played (again, before tonight), he's averaging a +9.7 plus-minus every night (+116 total). He had been averaging 18.5 points on on .479/.400/.780 shooting splits, 6.2 assists (against just 2.3 turnovers) and 3.2 rebounds a night.

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How much exactly is all that production worth to the Lakers? And is it sustainable long-term? 

Russell is generally thought of as a scoring point guard who doesn't play much defense, though his passing acumen and defensive rating certainly suggest the 27-year-old has a bit more dimensionality to his game. Playing alongside greats like LeBron James and Anthony Davis oftentimes brings out the best in their teammates, and so far that seems to be the case here.

It's perhaps unfair to expect him to be scoring this well for the entirety of a new multi-year contract, but even at 90% of this production the 6'4" guard is probably worth $20 million annually at least on the open market. Our fingers are crossed.

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