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#pounditSunday, June 23, 2024

D’Angelo Russell takes swipe at former team Timberwolves

D'Angelo Russell warming up

Mar 1, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell (0) warms up before the start of the third quarter during a game against the Dallas Mavericks at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

D’Angelo Russell is doing a bit of talking now that he is still in the playoffs and his former team is long eliminated.

In an interview this week with Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell spoke critically of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Specifically, he called out the Timberwolves for holding him back.

“I felt like I was held back there, honestly,” said Russell. “I just kind of had to be the third option. Some nights, I was a little more aggressive and was kind of being held back. So to be in a position now where I can kind of thrive and be aggressive and it gets guys going, and where the team reflects off of anybody with that type of energy, it’s fun.”

The former All-Star guard also said in the interview that he wanted out of Minnesota but never officially asked for a trade or voiced his unhappiness. You can read Russell’s full interview here.

Russell, 27, had spent the last four seasons in Minnesota. This season was his least productive with the Timberwolves as he was third in scoring and shot attempts behind both Anthony Edwards and (when healthy) Karl-Anthony Towns. Russell was ultimately dealt to the Lakers in February as part of the multi-team Russell Westbrook trade.

Interestingly, Russell is averaging fewer points and field goal attempts per game with the Lakers than he did with Minnesota (in part due to sharing ball-handling duties with LeBron James, Dennis Schroder, Austin Reaves, and others). But he has also been more efficient with the purple and gold and is enjoying greater team success.

This may be an attitude thing with Russell as he has even griped at times with the Lakers this season. All in all, it is setting up to be an interesting summer for Russell, who will hit unrestricted free agency this offseason.

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