The Lakers star joined the Magic after his request for a raise was not accepted

As the Los Angeles Lakers begin to navigate through a vital offseason, there are plenty of key decisions that the front office has to make. One of which is D’Angelo Russell, who has a $18.5 million player option and signs are pointing to him opting out to test free agency.

While Russell put together an impressive regular season by averaging 18.0 points and shooting a career-high from 3 at 41.5% on 7.2 attempts, he again struggled in the playoffs as the Lakers were eliminated in the first round by the Denver Nuggets.

Despite that, the Ohio State product may look for a pay raise, whether that be from L.A. or another team. Heading into the offseason, there looks to be a slim market as most teams do not have cap space. One of the teams that does have money to spend, however, is the Orlando Magic and they are rumored to have interest in Russell, via Kelly Iko of The Athletic:

Orlando is interested in Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell, league sources tell The Athletic. Russell has an $18.7 million player option for the 2024-25 season he can opt out of if he chooses to test the open market.

This could put the Lakers in danger of losing their starting point guard for nothing as Russell will have the ability to leave if a team like the Magic gives him the contract he is looking for. Orlando could use more offense to surround Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner, which became evident during their first-round series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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It could make for an intriguing fit for the 28-year-old as he could get a payday and play without the pressure of being alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, in addition to having more time on the ball and being a vocal point of Orlando’s offense.

Unfortunately, the Lakers can only wait and see what decision Russell makes as he has until the end of June to decide on his play option. If his sights are on the Magic or another team, perhaps he could help the Lakers out by possibly doing a sign-and-trade or opt-in and trading to the team of his choice.

D’Angelo Russell believes he had ‘hell of a year’ for Lakers

Each season for the Lakers is championship or bust, and matching up with the Nuggets in the first round did not help their odds. After a season filled with ups and downs, there is a lot to ponder for players heading into a long offseason. However, D’Angelo Russell believes that he had a ‘hell of a year’ for the purple and gold, battling through adversity to put up career shooting numbers.

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