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#pounditWednesday, April 24, 2024

Lakers could send D’Angelo Russell back to his former team?

DAngelo Russell holding a ball

May 6, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell (1) moves the ball up court against the Golden State Warriors during the first half in game three of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

D’Angelo Russell might be respawning in 2017 all over again.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN reports this week that the Los Angeles Lakers veteran guard Russell has recently been mentioned in trade conversations with one of his former teams — the Brooklyn Nets. McMenamin also names the Toronto Raptors and Atlanta Hawks as two other teams that have been involved in Russell trade talks.

The 27-year-old Russell is an expected trade candidate, especially since he is on an affordable new two-year, $36 million contract (one in which Russell chose to waive his implied no-trade clause to boot). The Lakers, who drafted Russell in 2015, already traded him to the Nets once — in 2017 along with Timofey Mozgov in a deal that netted the Lakers a package of Brook Lopez and the draft rights to Kyle Kuzma. Russell thrived over his two seasons in Brooklyn, averaging nearly 20 points per game overall and making his only career All-Star team in 2019. But Russell would eventually be dealt by the Nets to the Golden State Warriors as part of a sign-and-trade for Kevin Durant in the summer of 2019.

This time around, Russell is making an appealing case for himself once again, averaging 22.2 points and 6.4 assists per game over the last month. The Nets also have multiple trade assets that the Lakers are interested in, making a Russell return to Brooklyn seem like a very real possibility here.

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