NBA DAngelo Russell trade deal LA Lakers

The free agency market has a disproportionately high number of star players available this summer. The case of one of these star players, D’Angelo Russell, is a particularly intriguing one.

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D’Angelo Russell to the Lakers?

D'Angelo Russell LA Lakers NBA Trade Free Agent

It is almost certain now that Russell will not be back with the Brooklyn Nets, who are rumored to have agreed on a max deal for Kyrie Irving. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Irving will leave the Boston Celtics for the Nets and that the Celtics will sign Kemba Walker instead. This merry-go-round leaves Russell’s future up in the air, and a rather unlikely fate springs forward: a return to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers have freshly increased their salary cap, following the trade for Anthony Davis, which sees him move to the New Orleans Pelicans. Wojnarowski added that the Lakers and Russell’s representatives have been in contact, and there is mutual interest between the two.

Past history suggests Russell move to Lakers tough

This move does seem quite far-fetched, especially considering the way Russell left the Lakers in 2015-16, with the Snapchat debacle with then-teammate Nick Young. And when Russell left the Lakers, Magic Johnson made some rather stern comments on Russell’s lack of leadership and maturity.

NBA DAngelo Russell deal trade LA Lakers

Johnson, however, is no longer at the franchise. And Russell is coming off a record-breaking season with the Nets, including an All-Star appearance. He even has the NBA’s Most Improved Player award to his name. All this bodes well for a move to the Lakers. The Lakers too want to add to their lineup and want a third partner alongside Anthony Davis and LeBron James.

If the Lakers do manage to sign D’Angelo Russell on a max contract with their newly created cap space, Rob Pelinka will have very little to build the rest of the roster. That is a headache that he must consider.