The Los Angeles Lakers hold the No. 2 overall pick in Thursday night’s draft, and will likely add Brandon Ingram to a core of young prospects that already includes D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and Larry Nance, Jr. It’s a good group that has a bright future together if they give it time to grow. Still, they haven’t been able to quiet the trade rumors surrounding Russell, even though last year’s No. 2 pick has been told by management that he has nothing to worry about.
Via the Los Angeles Daily News‘ Mark Medina:
“You hear trade talks,” Russell said on Tuesday at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “Then you get a text from your GM saying he trusts your work ethic and don’t worry about it.”
Russell represents one of the few assets the Lakers could dangle in a trade for a veteran or for another draft pick. But it hardly appeared Russell’s future seems in question. He has spent most of the offseason working out at the Lakers’ practice facility and peppering Lakers coach Luke Walton with questions over the phone.
It would be shocking if the Lakers moved Russell, unless they were getting back a legitimate superstar, like a Paul George or a DeMarcus Cousins. Despite last year’s controversial Nick Young Snapchat incident aside, he’s the most promising prospect they have, and thrived in the second half of the season when he started getting more minutes. Unless the Lakers get a killer offer, he should have nothing to worry about.