D'Angelo Russell will exercise his player option and remain with Lakers

Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell, an oft-mentioned player in trade talks, has decided to opt into the final year of his contract, according to people with knowledge of the decision not authorized to speak publicly. The deal is worth $18.7 million.

Russell averaged 18 points and 6.3 assists on 45.6% shooting from the field and 41.5% from three-point range. His 226 made threes last season was a franchise record.

Friday was “D’Angelo Russell Day” in Louisville, Ky. in recognition of his philanthropy in his hometown.

Russell‘s name has been part of trade rumors during most of his time back with the Lakers after uneven postseason performances.

Russell, 28, and Christian Wood aren’t the only Lakers who are exercising their player options. According to the Athletic, Jaxson Hayes is opting in to his deal. Cam Reddish and LeBron James have until Saturday to make decisions on their options.

The decisions have left the Lakers with a close-to-full roster heading into free agency. The team added four players during the NBA draft, including two on two-way deals. The Lakers have been expected to re-sign restricted free agent Max Christie, 21, who is said to have interest from rival teams, though the Lakers can match any offer he receives.

The Lakers’ roster crunch could lead them to explore trades in an effort to both improve and unclutter the roster heading into JJ Redick’s first season as coach.

The Lakers originally picked Russell second overall in the 2015 NBA draft. The team traded him to Brooklyn, then reacquired him from Minnesota in 2021 at the trade deadline in the Russell Westbrook deal.

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