Less than two hours before he faced his old team for the first time, Brooklyn Nets point guard D’Angelo Russell admitted Friday that he was irked by comments Lakers team president Magic Johnson made this summer about Russell’s leadership, or lack thereof.
In June, Johnson explained why the Lakers traded Russell to Brooklyn and drafted Lonzo Ball, saying the team “needed a leader” and someone who also “can make the other players better.”
“I would say it ruffled a few feathers,” Russell said before the Nets played the Lakers on Friday for the first time since the summer trade. “But you control what you can control. He’s in a position to say what he wants, so I just try to do what I can do at the end of the day.
Just days before the draft, the Lakers shipped Russell, who was their No. 2 overall pick in 2015, and Timofey Mozgovto Brooklyn for Brook Lopez and the 27th overall pick. The Lakers then drafted rookie Kyle Kuzma, who started his first game Friday in place of an injured Larry Nance Jr. (broken hand).
Russell had previously downplayed Johnson’s comments and declined to respond despite being asked about it repeatedly, including at his introductory news conference in Brooklyn this summer.
76ers to Workout Kevin Knox, Zhaire Smith for Second Time
Philadelphia 76ers Pre-Draft Workouts – Media Availability
11:00 A.M. Group Workout:
G-F B.J. Johnson (La Salle)
G De’Anthony Melton (USC)
G Tyler Nelson (Fairfield)
G Malik Newman (Kansas)
G Landry Shamet (Wichita State)
G Zhaire Smith (Texas Tech)
1:00 P.M. Workout:
F Kevin Knox (Kentucky)
Source: Philadelphia 76ers
Sources: Jamal Crawford Declines Player Option with Timberwolves
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jamal Crawford has declined his $4.5 million player option for next season and will become a free agent, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Crawford, a three-time Sixth Man of the Year, will become one of the top reserve scorers on the open market after facing Monday’s deadline to decide on his option.
In his 18th NBA season, Crawford averaged 10.3 points and 20.7 minutes in 80 contests, marking his 16th consecutive year that he scored in double figures per game. He joined the Timberwolves on a two-year contract last offseason and served as a veteran leader for the franchise’s first playoff season since 2004.
Source: Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports
Sources: Raptors Want Top-10 Pick, Interested in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
According to one league source, no one on Toronto’s roster is off limits as the Raptors pursue a top-10 pick
According to one league source, no one on Toronto’s roster is off limits as the Raptors pursue a top-10 pick https://t.co/AZzCv8fPXD
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 18, 2018
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter