3 Lakers who need monster second halves to save their job

Several Lakers players will need to show out down the stretch to avoid being shown the door in the offseason.
Taurean Prince, Los Angeles Lakers
Taurean Prince, Los Angeles Lakers / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages
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D'Angelo Russell

Playing in his second stint with the Lakers, D'Angelo Russell has had one of the more unique career arcs of any NBA player. In his rookie season, he was situated in the same locker room as Kobe Bryant, playing alongside the Black Mamba while watching the legend ride off into the sunset in his retirement season.

When he was traded back to Los Angeles at the 2023 trade deadline, D'Lo joined a very short list of players to have played on the same team as both LeBron James and Kobe Bryant over the course of their careers. Now, as the Lakers look to the future, they will have to consider what life could be like without Russell going forward.

After D'Angelo's unpredictable season to this point, LA considered dealing him away once again at the deadline two weeks ago. This was an unsurprising development given some of his sporadic performances this season. Like on November 29 when he scored 35 in Detroit, then turned around and dropped eight points on 3-for-11 shooting against the Suns a week later.

It is simply hard to justify re-signing a player who can put up such disappointing performances when he has the potential to be so much more. D'Lo will go through stretches of seemingly consistent play, but his tendency to shrink back always looms. He will have to prove he can produce consistently as one of the more experienced players on this team.