Lakers Rumors: LA Reaches Out to D'Angelo Russell's Reps for Free-Agency Meeting

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 22: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers greets D'Angelo Russell #1 of the Brooklyn Nets before the start of their NBA basketball game at Staples Center on March 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have reached out to D'Angelo Russell's agents to set up a meeting with the guard, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. 

There is reportedly "mutual interest" between the two sides, and Wojnarowski reported earlier this week that Russell is atop the Lakers' list of free-agent targets.

Russell is currently a restricted free agent after being tendered a qualifying offer. However, Wojnarowski previously reported that the Brooklyn Nets will renounce Russell's rights if they are able to sign Kyrie Irving

Irving is expected to meet with Brooklyn on Sunday, and both sides are "motivated to move quickly toward reaching a four-year, $141 million deal," per Wojnarowski.

Russell is coming off a breakout season, one that saw him establish new career highs in scoring (21.1 PPG), field-goal percentage (43.4), three-point percentage (36.9) and assists (7.0 APG). That strong performance led to the 23-year-old's first All-Star selection.

Of course, Russell and the Lakers are already plenty familiar with one another. Los Angeles selected the former Ohio State star second overall back in 2015, and he spent the first two years of his career with the team before being traded to Brooklyn in June 2017.

Former Lakers president Magic Johnson—who previously questioned the young player's leadership—revealed on ESPN's First Take in May that the Russell trade was made in part because of off-the-court drama with former teammate Nick Young.

Since Russell left town, the Lakers have undergone drastic changes both on and off the court. Johnson is no longer a part of the front office. Four-time NBA MVP LeBron James headlines the roster, with six-time All-Star Anthony Davis reportedly on the way to Hollywood as well, according Wojnarowski

Of note, there are no remaining players from the 2016-17 Lakers squad, Russell's last during his previous stint with the team.

Los Angeles recently cleared up enough cap space for a max contract ahead of free agency. According to Wojnarowski, the Lakers currently have $32 million in cap space.