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Russell on Magic’s Leadership Comments: ‘I would say it ruffled a few feathers’

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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.

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Sources: NBA Updates Salary Cap Projections for Future Seasons

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Sources: The NBA has informed its teams of updated projected salary cap and tax level for 2019-20 ($109M, $132M) and 2020-21 ($118M, $143M).

Sources: Shams Charania on Twitter

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Free agent guard Jarrett Jack has agreed to a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, per league sources.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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The San Antonio Spurs hired television analyst and 14-year NBA veteran Brent Barry to their front office, naming him vice president of basketball operations Monday.

Barry, who won titles in 2005 and 2007 with the Spurs, has been considering a move into an NBA front-office role for several years.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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