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#pounditTuesday, October 19, 2021

Articles tagged: D’Angelo Russell

D’Angelo Russell’s ex-girlfriend Niki Withers throws shade at him after trade news

Niki Withers

D’Angelo Russell is hearing it from all angles after news emerged that he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets.

Shortly after news broke Tuesday that Russell was traded by the Lakers along with Timofey Mozgov to the Nets for Brook Lopez and the No. 27 pick in the draft, Russell’s ex-girlfriend sent a few tweets.

Take a look at what Russell’s ex, Niki Withers, tweeted:

And in case you don’t think that was about Russell, someone responded to her mentioning D’Angelo. Here was her response:

Well, Withers certainly isn’t lacking for confidence.

Withers and Russell were on-and-off last year but apparently are no longer dating. That could make D’Angelo’s move to Brooklyn a little easier.

Lakers trading D’Angelo Russell, Timofey Mozgov to Nets for Brook Lopez, pick

D'Angelo Russell vein

The Los Angeles Lakers are making some moves ahead of Thursday’s NBA Draft.

According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers are trading D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and the 27th pick in Thursday’s draft.

Russell was the No. 2 overall pick by the Lakers in 2015, but he could become expendable if the team is planning on selecting Lonzo Ball No. 2 overall on Thursday.

Mozgov has three years and $48 million remaining on his contract, so he is a salary dump. Lopez meanwhile is under contract for just over $22 million next season and then is set to become a free agent.

If the Lakers are planning on taking Ball, then trading away Russell allowed them to get Mozgov’s contract off the books — no small feat. They also will have Lopez’s expiring contract, which will give them lots of salary cap flexibility next offseason, when they will likely try to sign Paul George to a big deal. And in the meantime, Lopez is still an effective big man.

Teams reportedly considering D’Angelo Russell trade

D'Angelo Russell vein

The Los Angeles Lakers winning the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft is a game-changer in many ways for the franchise.

The Lakers are widely expected to use the pick to select Lonzo Ball, whom they reportedly love. The assumption is that Boston passes on Lonzo with the top overall pick, especially considering LaVar Ball has made it clear he wants his son to be a Laker.

If the Lakers draft Ball, that could make D’Angelo Russell expendable. SI reports that teams are already considering trade packages for Russell.

Russell was the No. 2 overall pick by the Lakers in 2015. He had a rough rookie season in which he somewhat clashed with head coach Byron Scott, but he picked up his stats and showed some improvement this season. The Lakers could probably get some good draft compensation or complementary players in a trade of Russell.

Lakers want to try playing D’Angelo Russell off the ball for remainder of season

The Los Angeles Lakers are fully committed to player development over the final dozen games of the regular season, and experimenting with D’Angelo Russell’s role appears to be next in store.

After Russell dropped a career-high 40 points in Sunday’s loss to Cleveland, Lakers head coach Luke Walton said he wants to try playing the former No. 2 overall pick off the ball more for the rest of the year and expressed his belief that Russell can succeed in that capacity, per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

The 21-year-old Russell, who is averaging 15.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game in his sophomore season in 2016-17, has played roughly 90 percent of his career minutes thus far at the point guard position (per Basketball Reference), and one of his primary strengths is creating out of halfcourt pick-and-roll sets. But as Walton alluded to, Russell has fairly strong numbers in the limited time he has played off the ball, ranking in the 72nd percentile leaguewide this season in spot-up shooting opportunities and in the 69th percentile in opportunities off cuts (per NBA.com).

New Lakers president Magic Johnson has hinted he wants Russell to take on a bigger role for the team, and developing his game off the ball could be one of the better ways to do that with the Lakers likely to have a shot at an elite point guard of the Markelle Fultz or the Lonzo Ball mold in next June’s draft.

H/T Rotoworld

Draymond Green criticizes D’Angelo Russell for role in fight

Draymond Green

Draymond Green was quite unimpressed with Los Angeles Laker guard D’Angelo Russell’s conduct during a scuffle during Friday night’s Lakers-Bucks game.

The Golden State Warriors forward didn’t name Russell by name, but he made clear that he was not happy to see a player shove an opponent before immediately retreating from the scrum.

You can see Russell shove Milwaukee’s Greg Monroe and then seemingly back away from further confrontation in this video.

Green certainly won’t be backing down from anyone, and he very clearly doesn’t think much of those who do. We wonder if he agrees with Luke Walton’s assessment of a Bucks staffer taking action during the same confrontation.

Magic Johnson wants D’Angelo Russell to lead Lakers

D'Angelo Russell vein

New Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson is hoping that D’Angelo Russell will develop into a leader for the team.

Johnson spoke to many fans at a “Lakers All Access” event on Monday night while the team had an open night on their schedule. He took questions from some of the fans and talked about the team. One notable thing he said is how he wants the team’s 2015 No. 2 overall draft pick to become a leader despite his youth.

Russell is only 21 and still hasn’t been trusted to play a ton of minutes early in his career. He averaged 28.2 minutes per game as a rookie while clashing with former head coach Byron Scott. This season Luke Walton has him at 26.8 minutes per game. When you factor in that as a 20-year-old he was involved in a controversy for videotaping a teammate having a private conversation, you understand why there probably hasn’t been a ton of trust in him as a leader yet.

Still, Russell is one of the important players in the Lakers’ future. He should heed Magic’s advice.

Damian Lillard calls out D’Angelo Russell for throwing elbows (Video)

Damian Lillard has a big problem with D’Angelo Russell.

The Portland Trail Blazers guard had an on-court exchange with Russell, who Lillard felt was throwing “little slick elbows” during Tuesday’s game. Lillard even went as far as to suggest that he and the Lakers guard might take care of things “in the back.”

Video of the altercation can be seen here.

Lillard is the veteran who probably didn’t appreciate the second-year player playing a certain way, and he was sure to have a word with him about it.

It was sort of a rough night for Lillard, who was ensnared in serious travel problems after all this went down.

D’Angelo Russell wants to make playoffs this year, Finals next year

D'Angelo Russell vein

You certainly can’t knock Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell for a lack of ambition.

In a recent interview with Baxter Holmes of ESPN, Russell opened up about the struggles he experienced in his rookie season and the idealistic vision he has for the Lakers’ future as they move forward with head coach Luke Walton.

“I don’t want that ever again,” Russell said of his first year in the NBA. “I don’t want to come in with a losing record. I don’t want to go to a losing team and you’ve got guys going every which way after practice — the chemistry just wasn’t there. I feel like with this team and with this organization, people want to be a part of it. People want to be Lakers.

“There’s just so much pressure, and some guys handle it and some guys can’t,” continued the former No. 2 overall pick. “I’ve always been a guy that, I don’t know, just attacks pressure. I want to be a part of this whole thing turning back around. I’ve seen what it was to be at its lowest point. I want to be a part of a playoff run this year … next year, Finals.”

The 20-year-old Russell hit rock bottom as a rookie, openly clashing with the since-fired Byron Scott and causing some serious internal strife with his infamous leaked video of teammate Nick Young. But the Lakers as a whole have turned over a new leaf under Walton’s guidance this season, playing a fun, harmonious brand of basketball to return to at least some sort of relevance in the Western Conference.

Russell’s two-year plan for the Lakers may be just a tad overly optimistic given that they’re only 10-18 on the year and are losers of their last eight games in a row. But it’s still great to see him find his light again as a sophomore and embrace the team’s “I love basketball” mantra to its fullest.

D’Angelo Russell: Lakers home opener without Kobe Bryant ‘felt like a home game’

DAngelo Russell

There is a sense around the Los Angeles Lakers that Kobe Bryant’s retirement has allowed them to move forward as a franchise.

Guard D’Angelo Russell told Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical that the team’s home opener, a 120-114 win over Houston, felt less like a Bryant game and more like a Laker home game.

“I’ll tell you what it felt like: It felt like a home game,” Russell said Wednesday after the game. “Last year, we had Kobe and the fans. We had some diehard Lakers fans, and Kobe fans. But we had so many guys who didn’t have identities for the fans to recognize. But today, it felt like a home game.

“You go to Utah, or Houston – and they’re rooting for their team. Here, this is the home of the NBA. People come to the see the show, too. Don’t get me wrong: They’re all Lakers fans, they’re incredible, but they want to see the show, too.”

Russell has given plenty of signals that he was one of the Lakers more hindered than most by Bryant’s presence and spotlight. It’s not just as far as the fan support goes. Bryant’s presence impacted the Lakers on the floor, too. Now, the Lakers can focus on development and improvement, and that’s a big deal.

D’Angelo Russell: There is freedom in Kobe not being around

DAngelo Russell

Whether he’s handling video cameras or talking with reporters, D’Angelo Russell isn’t exactly the most tactful. That remained the case when Russell spoke with ESPN’s Sam Alipour for a feature in ESPN The Magazine.

Russell, who is entering his second year in the league, shared with Alipour how things will be different this season for the Los Angeles Lakers without Kobe Bryant in the lineup.

“We’re all about playing together now,” Russell told ESPN the Magazine’s Alipour. “It’s not about one guy anymore. It’s about sacrificing for the team.”

Though the comments come off as harsh, Russell says Bryant, who won five championships with the Lakers, deserved the attention during his farewell season.

“Kobe deserved every bit of attention he got in his last year, but there’s freedom in Kobe not being around.”

Though Kobe fans may not react well to the comments, it’s hard to argue with the contents of Russell’s remarks. The Lakers last season were about sending Kobe away in style, not developing players.

In fact, Russell averaged greater than an assist and four points per game more when Kobe was not on the floor. Now, without Kobe, the Lakers will have leadership voids to fill, but that’s why they have new coach Luke Walton and a veteran like Metta World Peace around. Now Russell just needs to learn about what NOT to say to the media, which is something he still hasn’t learned.

H/T CBS Sports