Lakers rumors of a D’Angelo Russell trade aren’t going away just yet. Russell struggles as the LA Lakers lost at “home” to the LA Clippers on Friday, January 29. A main takeaway from the 105-93 loss are some of the comments that Lakers coach Byron Scott make about how his team has been struggling. A report from NBA analyst Mark Medina also addressed what Scott said following a loss to the Bulls Thursday, January 28.
Byron said that last night’s loss nearly led him to drinking. But then he was talked out of it
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) January 30, 2016
Things have really gotten ugly for D’Angelo Russell and the LA Lakers, which makes the trade rumors very unsurprising. Whether the Lakers actually choose to trade Russell is another question altogether. Coming off the bench against the Clippers, Russell shot 3-for-10 in about 25 minutes of action. He had eight points, five assists, and two turnovers, with the Clippers out-scoring the Lakers by 18 points when he was on the court.
The Clippers loss follows an even uglier game against the Chicago Bulls on Thursday. In that game, Russell was just 1-of-7 from the field for three points. He also had four rebounds, and four assists, but added three turnovers off the bench. NBA reporter Serena Winters quoted Russell following that game, showing that he at least recognizes the struggles.
D’Angelo: “I didn’t deserve to be out there (vs. Bulls). Coach didn’t hold a grudge on me going into tonight’s game, I appreciate that.”
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) January 30, 2016
In 47 games with the Lakers this season, Russell is averaging 12.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game. They aren’t bad numbers for a 19-year-old rookie point guard, but he is also committing 2.4 turnovers per game, shooting just 41 percent from the field and just 67 percent from the free throw line. The Kentucky product has still shown flashes of what he could become in the NBA, even though it hasn’t turned into many games getting posted in the win column for the Lakers.
There are a lot of LA Lakers rumors about how the team will deal with its recent struggles and whether the front office is close to pulling the plug on the Roy Hibbert experiment. A trade of any young asset like D’Angelo Russell or Julius Randle seems very unlikely as the NBA deadline approaches. Players who are definitely available include Hibbert, Nick Young, Lou Williams, Brandon Bass, and Jordan Clarkson at the right price. It means that deals could certainly be coming.
The 9-40 overall record for the Lakers is as bad as it comes for the storied franchise. NBA analysts have noted that the team may be tanking for another good draft pick, but Byron Scott isn’t speaking as though he is a coach trying to lose games. In fact, the statement that he was close to drinking, which is a problem for Scott, raises some serious red flags about how far the franchise has fallen. The Philadephia 76ers are the only team with a worse record (7-40) and the Lakers just lost to them 101-93 in December.
There are going to continue to be a lot of LA Lakers trade rumors over the next two weeks, with pieces like Roy Hibbert, Nick Young, Lou Williams, Brandon Bass, and Jordan Clarkson expected to be on the move. It’s highly unlikely, though, that D’Angelo Russell leaves the Lakers before coach Byron Scott. Instead, the team is likely to continue on its course of building this season and sending Kobe Bryant out following his retirement tour. It’s a tough road ahead for Lakers fans, but the NBA offseason could hold hope.
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