Lakers can afford to trade D'Angelo Russell
We saved the most controversial for last. D'Angelo Russell has his share of Lakers fans who support him to no end. It is hard to blame those fans as Russell has played well this season and when he is at his best, he is truly a lethal scoring point guard in a league where that is so important.
Russell has also said all the right things leading into the 2023-24 season. He has talked about his commitment to defense and wanting to be a two-way player like Derrick White. Someone definitely got in Russell's ear and told him what the fanbase wanted to hear after his disastrous Western Conference Finals.
Playing well in a quarter of the regular season doesn't quite make up for how badly he played in the Western Conference Finals and that is the entire reason why the Lake Show should be willing to trade him. Regardless of what he says or how good he looks in November, Russell's play does not translate well to the playoffs.
It never has and until he proves otherwise, it is fair to believe that it never will. There is a reason why Russell has bounced around on several contenders and why he has never quite found a landing spot. His style does not equate to winning basketball when it matters most.
Now that does not mean that the Lakers need to shop Russell or try to desperately move him like with Russell Westbrook, but the team should look to make savvy improvements where it can. That starts with Russell and thankfully he has helped the team by playing well and increasing his trade value.