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Now that the dust has settled, should the Lakers re-sign D’Angelo Russell?

Let’s take a closer look at the Lakers’ upcoming D’Angelo Russell free agency decision.

2023 NBA Playoffs - Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Now that it’s been a few weeks since the Los Angeles Lakers’ season ended in a hotly contested sweep to the Nuggets that was decided by a total of 24 points, we can take a closer look at the team’s free agency decisions with a clearer lens devoid of what could have been.

The player who may most benefit from that clearing of the lenses is D’Angelo Russell, who had a very, very poor series against the likely (and heavily favored, just don’t tell Coach Mike Malone) champions Denver Nuggets. He was clearly targeted on the defensive end by the Nuggets’ game plan, with multiple players attacking him off the dribble and getting into his chest relentlessly, capitalizing on a combination of his foot speed and strength deficiencies.

Russell did show he could be a capable defender in the previous two series vs. the Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies, but neither team had the personnel and roster balance to attack DLo like Denver did regardless of who he was matched up on.

That being said, and speaking of those two series along with his regular season, Russell also showed numerous positives for the squad, traits that very well could carry over into next season.

With all that in mind, I discussed the prospect of whether the Lakers should bring back Russell or not in-depth in the following video:

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka faces a critical summer and the decision with D’Angelo will be one of those critical decisions.

Only time will tell what happens, but Pelinka has shown when he’s given full reign to make decisions that he understands roster construction, balance and the cap extremely well (and remember, there’s a much harsher salary cap going into place this summer) so he’s certainly earned the trust to make the correct decisions, both on Russell and the rest of the roster.

Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, is a youth basketball coach at the U12 level and runs his own in-person and online sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA in which he further combines his movement expertise and fitness training. Combining his background in biomechanics, movement science, and learning science - he consults in a variety of sports including basketball on movement mechanics and skill acquisition. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC and analyzes the Lakers from a skills & medical perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and on his own YouTube Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.

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