On the 29th (Korean time), Lakers coach Ham said in an interview with local media, “This coming season, our starting point guard is Russell. I think he is a player who can have an outstanding season.”
Russell, who was selected by the Lakers with the second pick in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft, returned to the Lakers in the middle of last season after playing for the Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Russell has been very active since joining, averaging 17.4 points, 6.1 assists, and 3 rebounds. At the time, the Lakers were in a situation where Russell Westbrook (Clippers) was in a painful slump and had left the team, so Russell’s presence stood out even more.
But it ended there. He was unable to overturn the assessment that he was weak on the big stage. In particular, in the conference finals against the Denver Nuggets, Russell averaged only 6.3 points and 3.5 assists and had to watch the team get swept.
Although Russell qualified as a free agent after the end of the season, he did not receive much attention and eventually received a significant salary cut and signed a new contract with the Lakers for two years and $37 million.
At the same time, the Lakers signed Gabe Vincent, 안전놀이터 who helped the Miami Heat achieve the 8th seed miracle, on a three-year, $33 million contract. Vincent is also a resource that overlaps with Russell because he can see the point guard.
Coach Ham’s choice was Russell. “I will tell you one thing: Russell is our starting point guard. I will help him. Russell is a very intelligent player, I believe in him. The whole team supports him. I am one of the players who could have a good season. He expressed his faith by saying, “There is only one person.”
Meanwhile, local media reported that “the Lakers have decided on a starting lineup that includes Russell, Austin Reeves, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis.” It is expected that an intense training camp will be held for the one remaining spot.