Suns’ Devin Booker Issues Strong Statement on Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell

Devin Booker (left) and D'Angelo Russell

Getty Devin Booker (left) and D'Angelo Russell

Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker and Los Angeles Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell are close friends, which is why Booker isn’t surprised Russell is having success in his second stint with the purple and gold.

“I’m happy for him,” Booker said about Russell on March 21. “I think he’s in a better situation, a situation that fits his play style a lot more. I always knew what he was capable of. What he’s doing is not a surprise.”

The Lakers acquired Russell from the Minnesota Timberwolves at the trade deadline. The lefty is averaging 17.9 points and 6.4 assists in 10 games with Los Angeles while shooting 45.0% from the field, 38.6% from beyond the arc and 83.9% from the free-throw line.

Russell and the Lakers host Booker and the Suns on March 22 at Arena.

D’Angelo Russell Wants to Be the Point Guard of the Future for the Lakers

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Russell wants to re-sign with the Lakers this summer. The one-time All-Star becomes an unrestricted free agent in July.

“D’Angelo Russell very much wanted a second chance in LA with the Lakers and you’ve seen the impact he made coming back against Toronto the other night, playing great in a win, and again tonight,” Wojnarowski said on March 12 (h/t RealGM). “He wants to be the point guard of the future for this organization. He’ll be a free agent this summer.”

Russell, 27, will have made over $138 million in his career once this season ends. He’s played for the Lakers, Brooklyn NetsGolden State Warriors and Timberwolves.

The Lakers Would Like to Re-Sign D’Angelo Russell

The Lakers would like to re-sign Russell, according to a February 15 report from Wojnarowski. The Ohio State product has impressed the organization since being acquired from the Timberwolves. The Lakers will have full Bird rights for Russell, who has career averages of 17.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.7 assists.

“Both the Lakers and D’Angelo Russell have already expressed to each other an interest in starting conversations on a contract extension,” Wojnarowski said on NBA Countdown. “Russell could be a free agent this summer, but the Lakers traded for him — giving up as part of that package a first-round pick, two second-round picks — not to be a rental, but to be a solution at that point guard position. So expect D’Angelo Russell and the Lakers to really start engaging on those extension talks here in the next weeks and months into the offseason.”

Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, who traded Russell to the Nets in 2017 when he was working in Los Angeles’ front office, told Bryan Kalbrosky of For The Win in February that Russell “has really grown and matured.”

“I think D’Angelo has really grown and matured,” Johnson said. “He can score the basketball. He can pass the basketball. He doesn’t turn it over a lot. That’s what I like about him, too. That pick-and-roll with Anthony Davis is going to be special. You have to pick your poison for what you try to do whether it’s Russell coming off the PnR or Anthony Davis rolling to the basket and they’ll have some more time playing with LeBron. If the Lakers can get in, and I think they will, nobody is going to want to play them. That’s for sure.”

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