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    Lakers keeping D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves on new deals
    • July 1, 2023

    The Lakers’ starting backcourt from last season’s run to the Western Conference Finals will be staying in Los Angeles.

    Free-agent guard Austin Reaves agreed to return on a four-year, $56 million Early Bird maximum contract while D’Angelo Russell agreed to terms on a two-year, $37 million contract with the Lakers on Saturday, sources confirmed to the Southern California News Group.

    Russell’s deal will have a player option for the 2024-25 season, a source added. Reaves’ new contract will have a player option for the fourth year – the 2026-27 season.

    Free agents can’t sign their new contracts until 9:01 p.m. PT Wednesday after the free-agency moratorium period ends.

    The Lakers made Reaves a restricted free agent when they officially extended qualifying offers to him and forward Rui Hachimura, who came to an agreement on a three-year contract worth $51 million when free agency started Friday.

    Reaves’ qualifying offer was for a one-year salary of $2.19 million, but he was always going to receive a far more lucrative deal during free agency.

    Reaves, who went undrafted out of Oklahoma in 2021, originally signed a two-way contract with the Lakers in August 2021 before signing a two-year, $2.49 million standard NBA deal the following month ahead of the 2021-22 season.

    The 25-year-old guard is coming off a breakout season in which he averaged 13 points (68.7% true shooting – a formula that incorporates free throws and higher-value 3-point shots), 3.4 assists and 3 rebounds in 28.8 minutes (64 games with 22 starts).

    Reaves stepped up in the postseason as the team’s third-leading playoff scorer, averaging 16.9 points (61.6% true shooting), 4.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds in 36.2 minutes (16 games, all starts) during the Lakers’ run to the Western Conference finals.

    The Lakers acquired Russell from the Minnesota Timberwolves ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline. He averaged 17.4 points (48.4% shooting – 55.5% on 2s, 41.4% on 3s) and 6.1 assists in 17 regular-season games (all starts) for the Lakers.

    He was the team’s starting point guard for 15 of the 16 playoff games, averaging 13.3 points (42.6% shooting – 51.9% on 2s, 31% on 3s) and 4.6 assists.

    Russell, who also played for the Lakers from 2015-17 after they drafted him at No. 2 in the 2015 draft, has career averages of 17.7 points (36.2% 3-point shooting on 6.9 attempts), 5.7 assists and 3.5 rebounds. He’s also played for the Brooklyn Nets (2017-19), Golden State Warriors (2019-20) and Timberwolves (2020-23).

    More to come on this story.

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    ​ Orange County Register