Reports have emerged that the Los Angeles Lakers are concerned about the potential of losing D'Angelo Russell if he gets moved to a bench role in the NBA Conference Finals series against the Denver Nuggets.
They are worried that the proposed switch could entice Russell to move elsewhere when he becomes a free agent at the end of the 2023 season, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin.
He wrote: "Russell - who shot just 4-for-11 and played only nine minutes in the second half after registering a plus-minus of -23 in 17 first-half minutes - would naturally be under consideration; however, multiple team sources told ESPN that there is concern the team could 'lose' the 27-year-old point guard if he views the adjustment as a demotion after starting every other game this postseason."
Reports have emerged that because of his solid defensive efforts against Nikola Jokic in Game 1, Rui Hachimura will earn himself a spot in the starting line-up for Thursday night's Game 2.
"I think it's going to be big for me this series because they are very big, and we need the size," said Hachimura.
Hachimura in the starting five would mean Russell battling Dennis Schroder for a starting spot on LA's backcourt.
Schroder has started in the last two games and only got his first start in Game 6 against Golden State.
Meanwhile, Russell has been a starter since he arrived at the trade deadline.
He averaged 17.4 points and 6.1 assists and shot 41.4 percent from three-point range in 17 appearances during the regular season.
Read more: Denver Nuggets will look to extend their series lead over the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.