ReGrade the trade: Lakers salvage LeBron era with addition of oft-discarded guard

Taking a look back at the trade that brought D'Angelo Russell to the Lakers.

D'Angelo Russell, Los Angeles Lakers
D'Angelo Russell, Los Angeles Lakers / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next

The current outlook on the D'Angelo Russell trade

To determine how the D'Lo trade has aged in the nearly 14 months since it occurred, we should take a look at each individual piece of the deal and their implications. With the Lakers obviously being in win-now mode, they opted to get as many players back in the deal as possible, rather than future picks.

D'Lo Trade

That is also the primary reason they were okay with giving up their 2027 first-rounder to the Jazz. In the front office's mind, if they can get themselves to another NBA Finals in the next season or two and have a chance at a championship, it will outweigh the potential value of a first-round pick four years down the road.

LA also sent their 2024 second-rounder to Minnesota. In the grand scheme of things, that is very minimal draft compensation to give up considering the return of three rotation players. Of course, the main goal of this trade for the Lakers was to get Russell Westbrook's contract off the books and try to salvage his value into anything resembling productive on-floor talent.

They can certainly say they accomplished that. Despite the fact that Malik Beasley was mostly disappointing during his time as a Laker, getting a tenacious wing defender in Vanderbilt proved to be a major boost to their playoff rotation. And as we know, the centerpiece of the return for LA was their former second-overall pick, D'Angelo Russell.