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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: Nets, Spencer Dinwiddie Agree to Three-Year Extension

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Spencer Dinwiddie will get $34M over a three-year extension with Nets, league source tells ESPN. There will be a player option on third year, sources said.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Sources: Multiple Lakers Players Off-Limits in Trade Talks

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Lakers won’t surrender Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kyzma or Josh Hart to Suns for Trevor Ariza, source. Suns turned down a 3-team proposal, source. And 2 sources confirmed Rockets called Lakers 2 weeks ago about trading for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. No deal is imminent.

Source: Brad Turner on Twitter

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Sources: Rockets Interested in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

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The Houston Rockets are emerging as a suitor for Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in multi-team trade scenarios, such as with the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns, league sources told The Athletic.

In desperate search for an upgrade at the wing, the Rockets are targeting Caldwell-Pope, league sources said. The Lakers have pursued Suns forward Trevor Ariza, along with several other contenders, according to league sources.

As the trade market hashes itself out early this season, Caldwell-Pope has several interested suitors across the league, a telling sign for the 2019 free agent.

Source: Shams Charania of The Athletic

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