4 Contracts the Lakers must shed during the offseason

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages
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2. D'Angelo Russell

D’Angelo Russell’s contract was designed to utilize him as essentially a human player exception, as he signed a one-plus-one deal worth $36 million. The Lakers tried trading him at the trade deadline, as they locked in on Dejounte Murray, but the Atlanta Hawks had no interest in bringing back long-term salary.

Russell has a player option for 2024-25 worth $18.7 million, which was enough of a drawback for the Hawks to sign off on a deal. Russell also turned it on shortly before the deadline, making it hard for the Lakers’ brass to justify moving him.

But they likely weren’t moved enough to give him an extension. Hell, he’s played well all season and has still found himself in heavy trade talks.

The Lakers’ brass didn’t forget about his disappearance in last year’s postseason. And he’s far too valuable as a salary filler, as any team acquiring him would be able to buy him out, or deal him to a team in need of a 41 percent 3-point shooter, who can also average 6.3 assists.

Not to mention still being just 27-years-old. In other words, the Lakers won’t have a hard time shedding his salary this summer, as there should be a good number of teams interested in his services.