Magic Showing Interest In Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell

The Orlando Magic are interested in Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.D'Angelo Russell, Los Angeles lakers, NBA

Russell has a player option on his contract for next season and is widely expected to opt out and explore free agency. He signed a two-year, $36 million deal with the Lakers ahead of this past season.

Russell is just one of the players reportedly on Orlando’s radar. They have also been linked to Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George and free agent guard Malik Beasley, who spent this season with the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Magic are coming off an impressive season and strong playoff showing, falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers in seven games in the first round. 

Russell, 28, had an up-and-down run with the Lakers, and that’s basically been his entire career. But when he’s hot, he’s incredibly hot. Other games, not so much.

Nonetheless, he still averaged 18.0 points, 6.3 assists and 3.1 rebounds, shooting 46 percent from the field and 42 percent in 76 regular-season games. Those are the types of numbers that can lead to a pay increase — if not from the Lakers, then perhaps some other NBA team.

That said, given that the Lakers can’t seem to get to a championship level as currently constructed, they may opt to go in a different direction should Russell indeed decide to opt out. For that, they could not be blamed.

They haven’t reached the Finals since the 2020 Disney bubble season of 2020, and that took place in August. So they haven’t been playing in June for some time long before that (or 2010, to be exact). They defeated the Magic in the Finals in 2009.

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