4 Lakers at risk of being traded this summer

Los Angeles Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages
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2. D'Angelo Russell

When the details of D'Angelo Russell's contract extension were revealed, one thing was clear: Russell would be getting traded at some point. The team gave him a short-term deal (one plus one), which isn't quite what franchises do if they value a player.

Russell was essentially given a one-year fully guaranteed deal.

The Lakers dangled him as a trade chip at the deadline, in hopes of reeling in Dejounte Murray, but were unsuccessful in their overtures. It's been widely reported that the team will more active in the summer, as they have to add a viable superstar to team with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. 

Russell would present value as an expiring, although he'd have to opt in to the final year to facilitate a trade, which could kill some of the Lakers' leverage, as he'd only do that if it would present a favorable situation for him.

At least one would think.

Russell has also played well this season. Sure, he's posted essentially the same statline this season as last season with the Lakers, but he's done it in spite of the cloud of uncertainty hovering over his head.

Which has admittedly taken a toll on him, as Russell explained on the Backyard Podcast.

"Obviously it’s a lot of pressure. I just tried to approach it with a zen mentality. Knowing that I can’t control those things but also knowing that it is what’s going on and that’s what’s evolving around me. So being present within it but also not letting my mind get taken over by it.

We survived. It’s good to survive. It’s just a good weight off the shoulder. All in all, that’s what it was for me. So it’s cool to be here and reset and attack the second half of the season with some momentum.”

Russell should get some clarity on the short-term outlook of his Lakers future.