Stop me if you have read this before: The Lakers should trade D’Angelo Russell for _________. It has become a go-to trade featured in articles where they discuss potential trades. No matter what your opinion on Russell is, the Lakers selected him for a reason. Even after a up and down rookie season, he showed the Lakers, why he was chosen #2. Yet the supposed “rumors” keep on coming, and the reason why is even more troubling. Just look at what draft “expert” Chard Ford had to say on Sports Center.
For starters, the Lakers will take Brandon Ingram if the Sixers take Simmons like everyone is predicting. That is pretty much a done deal at this point. Now, what he said about the Russell trade rumors was just sad. The bad part was not that he reported it, it was that he mentioned Russell in another trade scenario. A lot of writers have tossed out D’Angelo’s name in lazy potential trade attempts. Ford mention the Nick Young scandal yet again as a possible reason to trade him. The “burnt bridges” in the locker room belong to Nick Young and Lou Williams and neither are considered core pieces. His impact on free agents will not be a big deal, as his game will be more important.
Russell’s value is much higher than what the return is. A Top 5 pick in this “weak” draft does not equal to the #2 pick in a historically good draft. If Russell is traded, then either Dunn or Hield would be the selection in that top 5. Either of them are laughably terrible replacements. No scandal or in season performance is enough to justify giving up Russell for players that have a ceiling of being solid starters.
When dealing with this nonsense, it is best to just ignore it. The Lakers have shown their support behind Russell and haven’t talked about trading him at all. Basing whether to trade him on his performance this season is also wrong because he had the worst coach in the league, Byron Scott. Byron did not let him operate in an offense best suited for Russell’s skill. Luke Walton will correct that.
For all of those sites that pushed it as a report when it wasn’t, shame on you. By now, most writers and sites should know what sources are right or wrong. Ford’s mistake was not that he falsely reported, it was that he added to the already painstaking list of outlets that have tossed out this absurd scenarios. D’Angelo Russell is a Laker and it will not be changing anytime soon.