The Los Angeles Lakers went through their first practice in preparation for the NBA Summer League on Monday at the team’s facility in El Segundo. Rookie guard D’Angelo Russell took part in the practice despite not having signed his contract with the team.
Much like the situation with Julius Randle last year, the Lakers hope to have Russell’s contract signed before the team faces the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night in Las Vegas, according to Bill Oram of the Orange County Register:
Lakers anticipate D'Angelo Russell will be signed in time to play in Summer League opener, Fri vs. Minnesota. Randle missed opener last year
— Bill Oram (@billoram) July 6, 2015
With many different deals currently in the works for the Lakers, the team will likely continue to hold off signing Russell until everything has come to fruition. Along with agreeing to acquire Roy Hibbert from the Indiana Pacers, free agents Lou Williams and Brandon Bass agreed to sign with the team over the weekend.
Once all three of these deals are finalized, and perhaps a potential sign-and-trade with the Chicago Bulls or Dallas Mavericks for Jeremy Lin, Russell will likely sign his contract and suit up to play against the Timberwolves on Friday.
Russell will headline a talented young Summer League roster that includes Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, Tarik Black, Larry Nance Jr., Anthony Brown, Jabari Brown and Robert Upshaw.
After facing the Timberwolves on Friday, the Lakers are scheduled to play the Philadelphia 76ers a day later on Saturday following by a matchup against the New York Knicks on Monday. All games will be played at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.