D’Angelo Russell is back with the Los Angeles Lakers but maybe not necessarily for the long run.
Keith Smith of Spotrac reported on Monday that the former All-Star guard Russell has agreed to waive his implied no-trade clause with the Lakers. Russell got a two-year, $36 million contract from the Lakers this offseason, which is entirely guaranteed. It also comes with an additional $700,000 in incentives each season. However, Russell’s deal has a player option in the second year, which gives rise to an implied no-trade clause (since Russell is essentially on a one-year contract). Russell has agreed to waive that implied no-trade clause outright this summer, though, something that Smith notes is a brand-new feature in the NBA’s latest collective bargaining agreement.
That is a major deal for the Lakers, who will now have the flexibility to trade Russell to any team ahead of the February deadline (once Russell becomes trade-eligible on Dec. 15). It also makes sense on Russell’s end of things since he is (presumably) getting more guaranteed money plus the incentives for his troubles (along with the opportunity to re-enter free agency next year).
Lakers fans had mixed feelings on the return of Russell, who fell flat on his face during the playoffs this year. But it turns out that bringing back Russell (and getting him to waive that implied no-trade clause) was a wise business move on the part of the Purple and Gold.