D'Angelo Russell has had a major impact on the Los Angeles Lakers since his mid-season blockbuster move from the Minnesota Timberwolves in February. It has a lot to do with the mindset he's taken on now that he's playing alongside two bona fide megastars in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Russell knew what he had to do coming in, and he's had no issue playing the role he's been asked to now that he's back in Hollywood.
Apart from LeBron and AD, there are a few other guys on the Lakers' roster that can go off on any given night. A testament to this fact is second-year guard Austin Reaves' recent hot streak where he made a strong case for being the third-best player on the squad. For his part, D'Angelo takes no issue about falling down the pecking order:
“We got a lot of guys that are capable of putting up big numbers and controlling the game and dominating the game to where you might have two or three guys not really having to have that type of game,” Russell said, via Spectrum SportsNet. “So for me to be in a position where I'm (the) third, fourth, fifth option, I'm cool because I know I can just play the right way and get everybody else involved. Keep everybody else happy while some of our best guys are dominating the game at the same time.”
"I just want to win." @Dloading spoke pregame with @LakersReporter about his return to Minnesota. pic.twitter.com/fdAcUB4eM3
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) April 1, 2023
Russell isn't just talking the talk, though; he's walking the walk, too. So far, D-Lo has shown that he's comfortable taking the backseat behind LeBron and Davis. At times, even further behind Austin Reaves. So much so that he is confident in saying that he is willing to become a fifth option for the Lakers. If you have a D'Angelo Russell as a fifth option on your team, then you obviously have quite a packed roster. It's now up to the Lakers to make this all work.