The Los Angeles Lakers are well out of playoff contention. At 13-39, they have the worst record in the Western Conference and trail only the Philadelphia 76ers for the worst record in the NBA. Lakers fans can take solace in one thing, though. According to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, they will soon be seeing a lot of rookie D’Angelo Russell, who was the second overall pick in last June’s NBA Draft.
“Scott plans to start Russell after NBA All-Star weekend (Feb. 12-14). But Scott said the two have not talked about that issue,” Medina wrote.
‘He’s not old enough for me to have a meeting and discuss, ‘What do you think?’ Scott said.”
There’s really no reason for this not to happen.
Not only would it be foolish for the Lakers to trade Russell right now, as has been rumored to be a possibility, but he should be seeing a lot of time on the court.
There’s no doubt that he’s struggling, but this is the perfect kind of season for a player like that to go through struggles. Los Angeles Clippers broadcaster Don MacLean suggested as much recently, much to the chagrin of Scott, who seems to have changed his tune on the matter.
The worst that happens is he makes a big mistake or two that costs the team a game. Given where the Lakers are in the standings, who really cares if that happens?
It’s best for any young, struggling team to give their young, unproven players ample playing time now. Any mistakes they make now would at least theoretically make them better players in the future.
D’Angelo Russell is a young player on a bad team. Scott and the Lakers are right to give him ample time to work through his issues during the season’s final games.