4 Lakers who definitely won't be back next season

These players are near locks to not be back in LA this fall.
Los Angeles Lakers v New Orleans Pelicans - Play-In Tournament
Los Angeles Lakers v New Orleans Pelicans - Play-In Tournament / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages
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4. D'Angelo Russell

And now for the elephant in the room. D'Angelo Russell was a surprise addition to this team just over 14 months ago, and there were of course mixed feelings from the fanbase about bringing him back on board. But in the end, it was satisfying to put the Russell Westbrook era to an end, and the fact that D'Lo was drafted by the Lakers was enough to drum up some excitement about having him around again.

The thing that has always plagued Russell the most and limited him as a player is his inconsistency. It was one of the reasons the team parted ways with him the first time, more than half a decade ago, and the same reason why he falls onto this list now. Throughout the first half of the year, it was much of the same story for D'Angelo.

But as trade deadline season came around, D'Lo's level of play picked up, perhaps in response to trade rumors, and he enjoyed a long stretch of solid play to end the regular season. When the first round of the playoffs began, he was up and down once again. Russell's best playoff game in recent memory came in Game 2 against Denver, sandwiched between one underwhelming outing and one absolute stinker in Game 3, where he went 0-for-7 with zero points.

The Lakers were willing to forgive D'Lo's bad performance against the Nuggets in the 2023 playoffs if he could come up big for them this time around. He seemed to believe he could do it. "I've been dominating the season all year, so for me to have a game off when everyone is watching, of course it's going to be magnified," said Russell. "You see what I did in the second game, and I'm looking forward to doing it the third game."

His confidence is admirable, but the Lakers faithful watched him miss shot after shot at Crypto.com Arena en route to LA's third consecutive loss in the series. When the team needed him to be a big x-factor most, he was nowhere to be found. If there was any question about his future in Los Angeles before the playoffs began, nearly all doubt should be removed now.