This time last year, the Los Angeles Lakers were full of disappointment, as they failed to even qualify for the Play-In Tournament, and it was relatively clear that the Russell Westbrook experiment was a failure. They traded him for D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, and other assets.
Now, fresh off a run to the Western Conference finals, the Lakers are in a much better position, but they still have some very important decisions ahead of them in what will be a crucial offseason.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis are under contract heading into next season, both of whom are the most important Lakers, but the team needs to worry about bringing their other core pieces back into the fold.
5 potential D’Angelo Russell replacements for Lakers this offseason
The Lakers traded for Russell at the deadline, and the point guard made his re-debut for the franchise. He played well, and the fit was immediately better than that of Westbrook, but by the time the postseason wrapped up, questions swirled regarding whether or not he would return.
Russell had a brutal showing in the playoffs, as he was unable to find his shot, hurting the Lakers on the offensive end. And now, depending on how much he asks for in free agency, he may or may not be worth bringing back.
It may be difficult for the Lakers to find a better point guard than Russell in free agency or on the trade market, but they could find someone who is a better fit or, at the very least, on a better contract.
With all that in mind, here are five potential Russell replacements for the Lakers to consider this summer.