D’Angelo Russell’s two-year contract signed with the Lakers this summer included a number of interesting aspects. As a two-year deal with a player option, the contract would inherently have a no-trade clause for Russell, a standard aspect of a two-year contract with an option.
However, the Lakers and Russell separately negotiated that option out of Russell’s contract. First reported by Keith Smith of Spotrac and confirmed by Jovan Buha of The Athletic, Russell will not have the implied no-trade clause, which allows a lot more options for the Lakers this season.
Team sources confirmed this to @TheAthleticNBA. This is a significant development for LA and their flexibility at the trade deadline. Under the old rules -- and had D'Angelo Russell not waived his veto rights -- he would've had a say in any trade out of LA. https://t.co/wSJX2Z1RR6— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) July 10, 2023
Russell’s contract already was seen as a pretty reasonable one at two years and $36 million. Presumably, and this is just some inferring, the Lakers had to toss in a bit more money to make Russell agree to take the no-trade clause out which makes the final number they landed on even more impressive.
And in doing so, it opens up a lot of possibilities for the Lakers in-season. Russell’s contract is one of the more tradeable contracts on the roster and if the team is looking to upgrade at some point this year, he would be perhaps the prime candidate.
It’s another great piece of work from the front office once again this offseason. On top of all the more obvious wins the Lakers have had from signing Gabe Vincent to retaining their core, some of the wins around the edges could be their biggest ones.
On top of negotiating Russell’s option out of his contract, the Lakers also saved a piece of their mid-level exception to use on a buyout during the season. Considering the sheer volume of negotiations the Lakers had this summer, being able to sneak in small wins like this — especially when the front office fell into a rut of missing on the margins — is a great bit of work.
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