While it seems clear that the Lakers are pining for Russell more than ever, is Russell ready to come back?That is the big question of many in a potential deal for Russell. For one thing, the Lakers’ estimated cap space of $23.7 million (as long as Anthony Davis doesn’t waive his kicker) might not be enough to get him. If the Nets don’t sign Irving, they’d be motivated to match any offer and bring Russell back to Brooklyn. Even if the Nets relinquish RFA rights, the competition for Russell from other teams might be pretty strong, too — lots of teams have cap space and might be willing to offer more than $24 million. And even if Russell is interested in coming back to the Lakers, is he really willing to take less money from the team that traded him away?There are many fascinating dimensions to a potential Russell comeback next week. It’s fascinating enough that we’re talking about it at all.– Kyle GoonThanks for reading the Wednesday June 26 edition of the Purple & Bold Lakers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.Lakers linksJeanie Buss speaks: The Lakers owner gives her first public interview since Magic Johnson resigned.What’s happening in the West: We talked to a number of Western Conference players an an executive to get a picture.The Greek Freak takes top honors: A recap from the NBA Awards and some of the defining emotional moments.Crazy for Kawhi: The Lakers are reportedly a team that will meet with Kawhi Leonard, but Mirjam Swanson reports on how the Clippers are vying for him. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersIf this has the feel of a wacky script twist, you’re not alone in feeling that way. But ESPN has reported that not only is there mutual interest between the Lakers and the 23-year-old restricted free agent, but Adrian Wojnarowski added that the Lakers are “rooting” for Kyrie Irving to sign in Brooklyn, which would likely mean the Nets would let Russell walk. And even Johnson himself, in a conversation with The Athletic, admitted that he wouldn’t mind a Russell-to-L.A. reunion, as strange as that seems to hear (let’s face it, Magic says some wild things these days).As the Lakers move forward with unclear cap space, and looking well short of offering a max deal, adding Russell to an alarmingly undermanned front court might be one of the next best options.Disregarding his history with the Lakers for a moment, Russell is one of the most promising young guards in the league: He averaged 21.1 points, 7 assists and 1.2 steals last season on the way to his first All-Star Game selection. His shooting (43.4 percent) could improve, but his range (36.9 percent on 3-pointers) has gotten better already. If you’re the Lakers and you’re looking at a post-LeBron future, having a pairing of Russell and Anthony Davis might make a lot of sense.But the weird thing is there is history with Russell, and rocky history at that. Russell was a fixture on two of the worst Lakers seasons in history. While Nick Young (and everyone on that 2015-16 team for that matter) is long gone, the Snapchat incident was symptomatic of what those around the Lakers identified as chronic immaturity. He had problems with teammates and coaches alike, and at the time he was traded, it wasn’t viewed as big of a loss as it is today.By many accounts, Russell has changed. He himself admitted with the Lakers, “I didn’t know how to be a professional,” and that his time in Brooklyn has helped nurture maturity. For whatever reason, his Nets teammates and coaches have found it easier to embrace him. He sure made the Lakers feel pain this season: The Nets went 2-0 against the Lakers, and Russell starred in a December game in which he hit the dagger, and a March game in which he officially eliminated them from the postseason. Editor’s note: This is the Wednesday June 26 edition of the Purple & Bold Lakers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.Two years ago, when the Lakers split ties with their former No. 2 pick, it had the feel of an exile.D’Angelo Russell was mere ballast in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets designed to get out from under the bad contract of Timofey Mozgov. When the Lakers selected Lonzo Ball a few days later, team president Magic Johnson didn’t mince words about Russell on his way out.How quickly the worm has turned. Ball is gone. Russell is an All-Star. And it seems the Lakers … might want D-Lo back?