Lakers: Best and Worst Case Scenario For D’Angelo Russell Next Season

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Best Case Scenario

While I could easily say that the absolute best case scenario for D’Angelo Russell would be winning MVP, the Finals and Finals MVP, keeping things within the realm of actual possibilities, a realistic happening would be Russell winning Most Improved Player of the Year.

Looking down the list at the most recent winners of the award, the past four — C.J. McCollum, Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic, Paul George — all took advantage of their situations, whether it be injuries or lack thereof, which in turn resulted in a drastic increase in scoring and lesser jumps in the rebounding and assists column.

Though there’s obviously a lot that goes into the voting, a definite common ground is the notable increase in point production.

Now that Kobe Bryant is gone, by default Russell has been promoted to either first or second offensive option, meaning this award could be a real possibility. That said, seeing how the press votes for the winner, the road to the top definitely won’t be easy.

Though Summer League should be taken with a grain of salt, as it’s often more pickup basketball than what you’d actually see in the Association, Russell’s performance and demeanor in Las Vegas should be a clear indicator of how he’s going to approach the regular season.

That said, I could easily see Russell’s Summer League numbers of 22/4/6 translate over to the NBA come October, though I could also see him exceeding these expectations. A net gain of nine points in the scoring column, three in the rebound and one in the assist would absolutely warrant serious consideration for the Most Improved award come next season.

Next: Worst Case Scenario