Grading the trade for the Los Angeles Lakers
A solid addition and complement alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Upon arrival, Russell was averaging 17.9 PPG and 6.2 APG. His averages remained the same playing third-fiddle to the superstar tandem in the City of Angels.
In addition, the trade for the former first-rounder also saw the Lakers acquire defensive-ace Jared Vanderbilt and 3-point sharpshooter Malik Beasley.
Vanderbilt provided Los Angeles with an elite defender, while Beasley, now in Milwaukee, averaged 11.1 PPG in 14 starts in 26 appearances for the Lakers. The Lakers' move helped to get their season back on track, resulting in a final record of 43-39.
Los Angeles had a remarkable playoff run that caught everyone by surprise. Despite being considered underdogs, they beat the Memphis Grizzlies and the defending NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors. The team was playing exceptionally well, and their impressive performance in the playoffs pleasantly surprised their fans.
During the 17 games played with the Lakers in the last season, Russell played a significant role in their success. He averaged 17.4 PPG and 6.1 APG and shot a career-high 41.1% from 3-point range. He was a valuable asset to the team, and his contribution was essential in the Lakers' playoff run.
Moving ahead to the 2023-2024 NBA season, Russell's performance is nearly similar to the previous season. Albeit he's having a very impressive January.
However, the Lakers are struggling, leaving the team with uncertainty. Despite the team's efforts, they have not been able to replicate their success from the previous season. The Lakers are currently struggling to maintain their position in the league, sitting at ninth place in the Western Conference.
With the 2024 trade deadline approaching, the former 2019 All-Star has once again become the subject of trade rumors. Rumors are circulating that the Lakers are considering trading him to help solve their current issues.
Nonetheless, only time will tell what the future holds for the Lakers and Russell. Whether it be in Los Angeles or on another squad, he provides instant offense and above-average playmaking, especially in the pick-and-roll.