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D’Angelo Russell on him potentially being a Laker ‘if it wasn’t Kobe’s last year’


Minnesota Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell wonders what might have been in Los Angeles if not for certain circumstances.

Russell’s rookie season came during Kobe Bryant’s final year with the Lakers. The former No. 2 overall pick thinks things might have worked out differently for him with L.A. had that not been the case:

“With the Lakers situation, it probably would have went different if it wasn’t Kobe’s last year and I didn’t go through what I went through,” Russell said, via Ben Stinar of The Big Lead. “It’s L.A., a lot of dudes come and go out of that organization. But I’m just thinking I could have been a guy that’s still there that they would have said ‘Man, I don’t care what we do. He’s a part of the future.'”

D’Angelo Russell had an up-and-down rookie season with the Lakers.

The former Ohio State star played in 80 of 82 games (48 starts), averaging 13.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.3 assists while shooting just over 35 percent from beyond the arc. Russell was also named to Second Team All-Rookie for the year.

But Russell was also at the center of a videotaping controversy involving former Lakers shooting guard Nick Young, and an incident that purportedly caused a massive rift in the locker room.

Russell was a full-time starter in his second season with the Lakers, but only saw a marginal increase in production while also being on the receiving end of some criticisms from the former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson.

Still, Russell has managed to do just fine for himself, and he will hope to give the Timberwolves a much-needed boost in production over the course of a full season.