It's hard to argue the following:
No Lakers player took more blame for the sweep at the ends of Denver than D'Angelo Russell.
Of all the key players the Lakers need to make decisions about this summer, most fans look at D'Angelo Russell as the player they have the least interest in keeping.
The reasons are pretty simple. Love him or hate him as a player, nobody would argue Russell showed out against the Nuggets. He was bad, and the Lakers suffered for it. Was he bad throughout the playoffs? No, and over 17 regular season games he performed pretty well, too. But when the Lakers needed him most, Russell wasn't anywhere close to good enough.
And he'll cost a good amount of money. Not $30 mil, but not $5, either. So is he worth what could be somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 mil a year?
How fans reacted to hearing him answer questions during exit interviews could shade their opinion. Certainly Russell didn't exactly beg for forgiveness, or even get that deep into his own failures in the Conference Finals. He acknowledged bad shooting, but expressed real confidence in his game at this point in his career. Nothing he said was necessarily wrong, but certainly he wasn't interested in reading the room, so to speak.
But what if the Lakers let him go? What are they giving up? Can they afford to let Russell's skill set leave without finding adequate replacements? Even with the understanding that his postseason struggles could repeat themselves, depending on the matchup?
It's a complex question, and one that will frame the offseason in a big way for the Lakers.
HOSTS: Andy and Brian Kamenetzky
SEGMENT 1: D'Angelo Russell is polarizing... but should he be a Laker next year?
SEGMENT 2: Diving into his exit interviews. Would contrition have helped? Is his confidence earned?
SEGMENT 3: What do the Lakers lose if they let Russell walk?
Support Us By Supporting Our Sponsors!
For parts that fit, head to eBay Motors and look for the green check. Stay in the game with eBay Guaranteed Fit. eBay Motors dot com. Let’s ride. eBay Guaranteed Fit only available to US customers. Eligible items only. Exclusions apply.
Download the Gametime app, create an account, and use code LOCKEDONNBA for $20 off your first purchase. Last minute tickets. Lowest Price. Guaranteed.
Built Bar is a protein bar that tastes like a candy bar. Go to builtbar.com and use promo code “LOCKEDON15,” and you’ll get 15% off your next order.
First time users can receive a 100% instant deposit match up to $100 with promo code LOCKEDON. That’s PrizePicks.com – promo code; LOCKEDON
Make Every Moment More. Don’t miss the chance to get your No Sweat First Bet up to ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS in Bonus Bets when you go FanDuel.com/LOCKEDON.
Go to birddogs.com/lockedonnba and when you enter promo code, LOCKEDONNBA, they’ll throw in a free custom birddogs Yeti-style tumbler with every order.
FANDUEL DISCLAIMER: 21+ in select states. First online real money wager only. Bonus issued as nonwithdrawable free bets that expires in 14 days. Restrictions apply. See terms at sportsbook.fanduel.com. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER or visit FanDuel.com/RG (CO, IA, MD, MI, NJ, PA, IL, VA, WV), 1-800-NEXT-STEP or text NEXTSTEP to 53342 (AZ), 1-888-789-7777 or visit ccpg.org/chat (CT), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (WY, KS) or visit ksgamblinghelp.com (KS), 1-877-770-STOP (LA), 1-877-8-HOPENY or text HOPENY (467369) (NY), TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN)
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Thursday, Christian Wood met the LA media for the first time, and said a lot of "meeting the media for the first time" type things. How excited he is to be in Los Angeles, how (as a Long Beach native) he's always wanted to play for the Lakers.
And how he has a great relationship with Darvin...
Jeanie Buss was a guest on The Athletic's NBA podcast, and had some interesting stuff to say about Anthony Davis. Namely that for the stretch of play last season after he returned from injury (the big one, where he missed 20 games), AD was the best player in the league.
It's not worth debating...