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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5. Washington Wizards

The Washington Wizards are in a remarkably challenging position entering the 2024 NBA offseason. Starting point guard Tyus Jones is set to enter free agency and there's reason to believe that he'd prefer to sign with a team that's relevant in the postseason picture.

In the event that Jones ultimately leaves, the Wizards will have cap space and the need for a point guard. Enter D'Angelo Russell.

It's worth noting that Russell has a history of going to bad teams and helping them turn things around. He led the Brooklyn Nets to the end of a four-year postseason drought and helped the Minnesota Timberwolves end an identical stretch of four seasons outside of the playoffs.

Even the Los Angeles Lakers missed the playoffs in 2021-22 and then returned during Russell's first season back with the team, 2022-23.

That may be a bit too ambitious for the current state of the Wizards, but it's a reflection of Russell's quality of play in the regular season. He's an elite shooter from volume and efficiency perspectives, as well as a playmaker who can make the game easier for his teammates.

For a Wizards team that's struggling to find an identity, adding a player who has helped lead and contribute to turnarounds in the past could prove fruitful.

If Russell opts in, then a Jones for Russell sign-and-trade could ultimately prove advantageous to both franchises.