Throughout D’Angelo Russell’s career, he’s been involved in trade speculation. That speculation often led to him landing on a different team, including last season when he was part of a three-team trade that brought the prodigal son back to Southern California.
His return helped revitalize the team and took them from a sub .500 club to the Western Conference Finals. However, when he re-signed with the Lakers and waived his no-trade clause, it opened up trade possibilities and guaranteed his name would be involved in trade talks in 2024.
Well, here we are in January with the Lakers hovering around .500 and Russell is no longer starting but coming off the bench. The trade rumors are at an all-time high and it seems if the Lakers make any significant move, Russell will be involved.
With the trade deadline still a month away, how is the Lakers guard dealing with being in constant rumors?
“It is what it is,” Russell said postgame following a loss to the Suns. “Since I’ve been in the league, I’ve kind of been dealing with that to where I know I can’t control it. I know those things happen no matter how well you play, how professional you act, how many shots you make or miss. It’s going to happen regardless. I don’t really go about my day worrying about that to be honest.”
Lakers fans have known Russell since he was a rookie in this league trying to establish himself. He’s now a professional who understands the business and produces to the best of his ability, regardless of the surrounding circumstances.
Thursday’s loss is a prime example. On a night where few Lakers gave the appropriate energy and effort to win Russell did. He was the best player on the team, playing well in the pick and roll with Anthony Davis and scored 17 points on 50% shooting.
So, while trade talks can create tension and affect a player’s play, fans can take solace in knowing Russell remains unfazed and as icy as ever.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.