Pros and Cons of Raptors seeking D'Angelo Russell in Lakers trade talks

Could the Raptors really pull this off?
Los Angeles Lakers v Charlotte Hornets
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Is it really NBA trade season unless Los Angeles Lakers point guard D'Angelo Russell is mentioned as a candidate to switch teams? The Toronto Raptors are the latest team to find themselves wrapped up in what could be another stressful deadline for the former No. 2 pick.

ESPN's Dave McMenamin has reported that Toronto has discussed acquiring Russell and his $17.3 million salary in a trade. As the Raptors have explored the market for players like Bruce Brown, Toronto has looked to LA in an attempt to see if Rob Pelinka would be willing to move any impact names.

Russell is the perfect trade deadline player. He's never good enough for whatever team he is on to declare him a part of the future, but he's also so effective that teams across the NBA are always trying to acquire him as they seek out some instant backcourt offense.

Acquiring Russell would be yet another big name to be thrown into Toronto's multifaceted rebuilding process. While acquiring such a talented scorer would be one way to give the Raptors a big kick in the rear end on the offensive side, Russell must be used in a very specific way to be effective.

Pros and Cons of Raptors chasing D'Angelo Russell in trade


The Raptors' guard depth consists of Immanuel Quickley, Dennis Schroder and...that's about it right now. For a coach in Darko Rajakovic who likes to run lineups with multiple guards, getting a proven scorer like Russell could be exactly what an inconsistent offense like Toronto needs.

If Brown is to be the main subtraction from Toronto's roster in the Russell deal, Toronto would be picking up a clear offensive upgrade in Russell. Even playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Russell has found a way to be productive and efficient on the perimeter as a shooter.

D'Angelo Russell would give the Toronto Raptors a tremendous scorer.

Russell has been shooting over 41% on 3-pointers since rejoining the Lakers last deadline, and the 1-2 punch of him and Quickley on the perimeter could be a much better fit than a player like Brown handing out in the corner. On a team plagued by inconsistency, Russell has scored at least 17.3 points per game in six straight seasons.

With an $18.6 million player option he could pick up next season, Russell's salary could be viewed as quite a steal for someone who scores as effortlessly as he does. In much the same way RJ Barrett has taken his offensive game to a new level after arriving in Toronto, Russell could be in for a similar production bump.