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

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Worst Case Scenario

Aside from getting injured, the absolute worst case scenario for D’Angelo Russell would be if Stephen A. Smith’s blab came true and his teammates and peers around the league lost all respect for him.

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This could happen in a multitude of ways the most likely being: one, another scandal or two, a clash with his teammates or coaching staff.

Judging by his relationship with Brandon Ingram, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle on and off the court and how he seems to respect the authority figures the Lakers have currently set in place, this seems like a stretch but honestly, it could happen.

On the Summer League squad, Russell was undeniably the leader of that team and his leadership style was much more vocal than year one.

However, what happens if it comes time for Training Camp or somewhere during the middle of the season and Julius Randle feels strongly that he’s the real heir to the throne. It would make sense, seeing that he is older, been in the league longer and has been the outspoken leader for the majority of teams he has been on.

To a much lesser extent, the Shaq and Kobe power struggle comes to mind. However, this didn’t happen until both players were reaching or already in their “prime,” not on their journey there — though the Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry story line is a counter example to this point.

Regardless, it seems much more probable that the best case scenario happens before the worst case comes to pass and that’s a great sign for the organization going forward.

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For our sake, let’s just hope the young Lakers build a bond stronger than Kevin Durant‘s and Russell Westbrook‘s.