5 teams that could steal D'Angelo Russell away from Lakers this offseason

D'Angelo Russell has a player option that enables him to potentially leave the Los Angeles Lakers. Which teams might swoop in and steal Russell?
Los Angeles Lakers v Brooklyn Nets
Los Angeles Lakers v Brooklyn Nets / Mike Stobe/GettyImages
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D'Angelo Russell and the Los Angeles Lakers have experienced the highs and lows of a generally positive, but in key moments trying working relationship. Russell is undoubtedly one of the most exciting players in the NBA, for instance, as well as one of the most skilled.

Following another disappointing showing in the playoffs, however, it seems as though the relationship between Russell and the Lakers could be coming to an end.

Russell will enter the 2024 offseason with a player option that would see him earn $18,692,307 in 2024-25 should he accept it. At 28 years of age, however, it's entirely possible that the former No. 2 overall draft pick will ultimately pursue other options in free agency.

Russell is coming off of one of his best regular seasons to date and could potentially command more than that near $18.7 million figure—if not per season than across multiple years.

The question, of course, is where Russell would ultimately end up if he opts to not return to the Lakers. This isn't to discount the option that he could finish out his contract in Los Angeles, or the possibility that he could be traded in Rob Pelinka's pursuit of a deeper roster.

If Russell takes his future into his own hands, however, there are teams that could benefit from adding him to their roster—far more than some have let on.

1. Brooklyn Nets

The favorite team to land Russell in 2024 is the franchise with which he became an All-Star: The Brooklyn Nets. The Nets are in the market for a point guard, and the positive history that exists between the two sides could ultimately facilitate a reunion.

If you're wondering how interested the Nets might be in such an arrangement, Russell was nearly shipped to Brooklyn at the 2024 NBA trade deadline before the Atlanta Hawks pulled out of a potential three-team trade.

Brooklyn ultimately acquired Dennis Schröder, but an argument can be made that there's still room for Russell on the roster—and even in the starting lineup.

A trade could still make sense here, as Russell could opt in for the 2024-25 season and then be sent to Brooklyn. That could be a part of a larger Lakers play for Mikal Bridges or even an attempt to acquire Dorian Finney-Smith and his affordable $14,924,167 cap hit.

The Nets could clear up cap space this offseason, however, and sign Russell outright—and they're an understandable favorite to do so.

Russell spent two seasons with the Nets, earning All-Star honors in 2018-19. He averaged 21.1 points, 7.0 assists, and 2.9 three-point field goals made per game that season, leading the Nets to the playoffs for the first time in four years.

As Brooklyn looks to end another postseason drought in 2024-25, bringing Russell, at worst a proven regular season player, back into the fold could help it do exactly that.