As the second overall pick, there will be a lot of pressure on D’Angelo Russell to perform at a high level. Many see him as the future face of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise and he has the potential to become exactly that.
Russell also has an excellent opportunity to learn from one of the greatest to ever play in Kobe Bryant. At his introductory press conference, Russell said that he spoke to Kobe and told him that he is willing to learn whatever Kobe is willing to teach him via Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:
D'Angelo Russell on a conversation with Kobe: "I just told him I'm a sponge. Whatever he's willing to teach me, I'm willing to learn."
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) June 29, 2015
Russell is already a very skilled player, but learning the nuances of the game from Kobe could really take him to the next level. Kobe has become a much better leader in his later years and taking Russell under his wing would be the perfect way to set the Lakers up for the future.
Russell is part of a very promising young Lakers core, along with Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson, that is giving fans everywhere a lot of hope. The Lakers will be hoping to make a big splash in free agency to add to what is already in place as they look to quickly turn around the franchise after two straight years out of the playoffs.