Los Angeles Lakers: 5 free agents L.A. could regret not signing

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5. D’Angelo Russell

The Lakers drafted D’Angelo Russell with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, but they watched him become a star all the way across the country.

While Russell was solid in his first two seasons, he didn’t exactly light the Staples Center on fire. Then there was a weird incident in which he was caught recording conversations with teammate Nick Young and sharing them with Young’s then-fiancee, rapper Iggy Azalea.

Finally, the Lakers landing the No. 2 pick again in the 2017 draft and having a shot at UCLA star point guard Lonzo Ball was enough to push Russell out of L.A., as he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets.

That’s where Russell came into his own. Last season, he averaged 21.1 points, 7.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game, leading the Nets to the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

Going into free agency, Russell’s name was linked to the Lakers, and for about a week it seemed like a foregone conclusion that he would return to L.A. as the No. 3 option behind LeBron James and recent trade acquisition Anthony Davis.

On Sunday, however, it was reported that Russell is headed to the Warriors in a sign-and-trade deal. Now he’ll be just close enough to the Lakers where they can’t get their hands on him, and with Golden State he could potentially give the Lakers a depressing look at what they could’ve had four times during the regular season and again in the playoffs.