Trade Proposal Lands Lakers $85 Million All-Star for D’Angelo Russell

Lakers' D'Angelo Russell

Getty Lakers' D'Angelo Russell

A new trade proposal would land the Los Angeles Lakers an $85 million All-Star for D’Angelo Russell.

Sean Davi of Bleacher Report proposed that the Lakers trade Russell and a 2027 second-round pick to the Toronto Raptors for Fred VanVleet.

Davi believes this trade only works, though, if VanVleet picks up his 2023-24 player option.

“When we are talking about Fred VanVleet, I need to make this very, very clear,” Davi said. “We are only doing this deal if Fred VanVleet picks up his player option, right? Because if Fred VanVleet does not pick up his player option, then it’s a double sign-and-trade, which ultimately hard-caps both teams. And I don’t think the Raptors will wanna hard-cap themselves for D’Angelo Russell and I don’t wanna hard-cap myself for Fred VanVleet.”

Russell becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. He played so poorly in the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets that many people around the NBA believe the Lakers need to move on from the Ohio State product.

D’Lo averaged 6.3 points and 3.5 assists while shooting 32.3% from the field and 13.3% from beyond the arc versus Denver, who swept Los Angeles in the conference finals.

Sean Davi Breaks Down Fred VanVleet

Davi did an excellent job breaking down VanVleet as a player. The one-time All-Star, who signed a four-year, $85 million contract with the Raptors in November 2020, averaged 19.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 7.2 assists this season while shooting 39.3% from the floor, 34.2% from beyond the arc and 89.8% from the free-throw line.

“Fred VanVleet, high volume on-ball player that is great in ball screens,” Davi said. “93rd percentile in terms of ball screen usage. 70th or so percentile in terms of efficiency out of ball screens. 35.0% catch-and-shoot 3-point shooter this year. You would need that number to get back to the number it was in the 2021-22 season, which was around 40.2% on catch-and-shoot opportunities. So that’s the number you need it to be.”

VanVleet is represented by Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group, the same agent who represents Lakers superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Western Conference Executive: LeBron James Is Not a Fan of D’Angelo Russell

James is not a fan of Russell, according to Heavy Sports senior insider Sean Deveney. LeBron would prefer the Lakers to get Kyrie Irving this summer, sources told Heavy Sports, but VanVleet may not be a bad option since he’s a better player than Russell.

Irving becomes a free agent this offseason, but the Dallas Mavericks intend to re-sign him, sources told Heavy Sports.

“I hate to say one playoff series can change a franchise’s whole outlook on a guy because that just does not happen, but it is happening with some of the people in that building, maybe most significantly, with LeBron,” one Western Conference executive told Deveney. “Is this a guy they want to invest in? Does LeBron want him back — there is talk that he is not Russell’s biggest fan.”

If the Lakers trade Russell to the Raptors for VanVleet, Los Angeles could start VanVleet, Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, James and Davis next season.

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