Grade the trade: Lakers ship D'Angelo Russell to Spurs in 3-team pitch

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The Los Angeles Lakers are humming through the first quarter of the 2023-24 season but there are still additions that the front office can make to the roster. Every contending team in the league should look to improve where it can and the Lakers are no different.

Los Angeles has already been the talk of the town on the trade rumor front as the team most heavily tied to Zach LaVine. However, trading for LaVine would ultimately be a mistake for the Lakers, so there are other avenues the team must explore.

Many of those avenues still include potentially trading D'Angelo Russell. Russell can be traded after December 15 and it looks like it might just be a matter of time until he is. After all, recent reports indicate that the Lakers are actively looking to trade Russell, despite any early-season success he may be having.

Trading D'Angelo Russell is the best-case scenario for the Lakers

As solid as D'Lo has looked at times this season, it does not change the fact that his style of play simply does not translate to winning basketball in the playoffs. Lakers fans saw this first hand in the 2023 Western Conference Finals and there is a reason why he has bounced around from contender to contender.

Trying to find the right trade package for Russell can be tough, especially if the team is not packaging him for a bigger star like LaVine. Thus, the Lakers may have to get creative and conduct a three-team trade to appease all parties involved.

One team that should have an interest in trading for Russell is the San Antonio Spurs, who the Lakers play on Wednesday and Friday. These two games could be an audition of sorts for Russell, and may open the door for trade discussions between the two Western Conference rivals.

San Antonio doesn't have any assets that should interest the Lakers, but they do have an expiring contract in Doug McDermott that may interest another team. Thus, the three-team trade idea is born. In the following pages, we will break down the trade and hand out grades for each team involved.

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