Lakers Target Free Agent ‘Fit’ For Potential D’Angelo Russell Replacement

The Los Angeles Lakers may part ways with D’Angelo Russell and they have already found a fitting free agent target. This will also help the Lakers improve their shooting from the three-point line. Bobby Marks from ESPN believes that the Lakers are an ideal fit for free agent Gary Trent Jr.

Trent Jr. played his first season in 2018 and provided great skills. He averaged 13.7 points in the 2023-24 NBA season and did 17.4 per game in 2022-23.

Matt Moore from The Action Network reported that the Lakers have shown great interest in Trent Jr. ahead of the deadline in February.

Moore said that everyone talks about Trent Jr. and all the team that have shown interest in him.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks discussed a scenario in which Russell opts out of his deal with the Lakers. If the veteran doesn’t opt in his deal, the Lakers will get more flexibility.

Most NBA analysts would agree that Trent Jr. is an ideal option for the Lakers. Maxwell Ogden from FanSided is definitely a fan of this move.

“When a team is limited in its resources, one of the most essential aspects of a general manager’s job is the ability to think outside the box,” Ogden wrote on May 22. “For Los Angeles Lakers front office leader Rob Pelinka, that will mean finding players who could be better in the purple and gold than they were at previous stops.

“One of the players who Pelinka should be evaluating in that respect is Toronto Raptors swingman and pending unrestricted free agent Gary Trent Jr.”

Lakers could replace Russell with the free agent

Trent Jr. didn’t have his best shooting in the 2023-24 NBA season, but it wasn’t really his fault. The Toronto Raptors ranked 12th in the Eastern Conference and everyone should take full responsibility.

The talented player had his best season in 2021-22, averaging 18.3 points per game.

Trent Jr. may be the solution LA is looking for and Eddie Bitar from Fadeway World praised his three-point shooting.

“Finally, Gary Trent Jr. is another excellent three-point shooter who would fit well alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis,” Bitar wrote in his June 16 article exploring five three-point shooters the Lakers can land in the offseason. “The Lakers could pursue Gary Trent Jr. in free agency, using their Mid-Level Exception.

“This approach would allow the Lakers to add a quality shooter without engaging in complex trade negotiations. Trent’s contract demands would need to align with the Lakers’ cap space, but his addition would be a strategic move to bolster the team’s shooting and defense.”