Steve Kerr is ready to integrate D'Angelo Russell into the Golden State Warriors' offense.

Kevin Durant joined the Brooklyn Nets in free agency, but Golden State managed to offset that loss, somewhat, by acquiring guard Russell in a sign-and-trade.

Kerr discussed the addition of Russell during a recent appearance on NBC Sports Bay Area's The Warriors Insider Podcast.

"[Russell's a] dynamic player in the pick-and-roll, excellent shooter and I like his in-between game," Kerr said.

"He makes a lot of plays out of the pick-and-roll. Those float shots are tough to master, and he makes those pretty routinely. So, we can do a lot of things with D'Angelo on and off the ball."

Russell is expected to slot into the Warriors' backcourt next to star Stephen Curry in 2019-20 as Klay Thompson continues to recover from the torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) he suffered in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.

"I'm anxious to get started with him and see how he's going to play with Steph," Kerr said.

"We'll probably run more pick-and-roll than we have in the past, given our change in personnel. But, I'm really excited to have him on board and can't wait to coach him."

Russell had a career year for the Nets last season, averaging 21.1 points and seven assists while shooting 36.9 per cent from three-point range. He made his first All-Star team, as well.

Russell inked a four-year max contract, but many have speculated the Warriors may look to move him for another asset once Thompson returns healthy.

"That's the business of it. It is what it is," Russell told reporters earlier this month, via The Athletic. "You put yourself in position to go somewhere for a long period of time and it may not be what it is a year later. That's the business. I've come to the realisation of that, I understand that. Whatever situation Ism in, I know the business side of it. We'll just see. I can't predict it."

The Warriors traded Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies in order to create salary cap space to land Russell. They also signed center Willie Cauley-Stein, along with wings Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III.

The Golden State Warriors have no immediate plans to trade D'Angelo Russell.

Warriors president Bob Myers on Monday addressed rumours that the team want to trade the 23-year-old guard in the near future.

Russell, who was acquired in a sign-and-trade with the Brooklyn Nets, is expected to start in the Warriors' backcourt alongside Stephen Curry in 2019-20. Klay Thompson will likely miss most of the season recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) he suffered in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

There is speculation Russell will hit the trading block once Thompson is back in good shape, but Myers insists Golden State are focusing on the present.

"We didn't sign him with the intention of just trading him," Myers told reporters. "We haven't even seen him play in our uniform yet and a lot of people have us already trading him.

"That's not how we're viewing it. Let's just see what we have. Let's see what he is. Let's see how he fits. Part of our job in the front office and the coaching staff and organisation is how does it all work.

"So much of our sport is what are you doing next. We've got to figure out what we're doing now. And that applies to a guy like D'Angelo in that there's speculation that we're moving him when we haven't even seen him play.

"We're just happy that we got a young player that has a lot of upside in our opinion."

Russell became an All-Star for the first time last season and averaged career highs in points (21.1) and assists (7.0) per game. He signed a four-year, $117million deal last month.

Stephen Curry explained he is "extremely proud" of three "special years" playing alongside Kevin Durant, as he discussed his former team-mate's free agency departure for the first time.

Durant opted out of his player option with the Golden State Warriors to join the Brooklyn Nets, having helped the team reach three straight NBA Finals, winning two.

Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and DeMarcus Cousins have also left the Warriors, while Klay Thompson will miss most of next season with a torn ACL.

Curry's team are consequently not the favourites to win the Larry O'Brien Trophy for the first time in the last half-decade, but he made it clear the demands the squad place on themselves will not change.

"The three years we had were special," Curry told reporters at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament about Durant, who reportedly opted to join the Nets while Curry was travelling from China to meet him.

"We had three straight Finals appearances and won two of them. We accomplished a lot as a group. 

"Everyone talks about all the talent we had on that team, but that doesn't mean you can put it all together. I like to look at what we accomplished and focus on that and be extremely proud of that run. Now we try to recreate that.

"There are a lot of changes, but the expectations of how we play, that championship-level basketball, won't change. I'm excited about it."

The Warriors managed to land D'Angelo Russell from the Nets as part of a sign-and-trade agreement involving Durant, and Curry is optimistic about the new arrival, even if he may not stay with the Warriors long term once Thompson is fully fit.

"I haven't had much personal interaction with him," added Curry. "Back when he got drafted, there were some comparisons of our games. He can handle the ball, shoot, pass. 

"Having versatile guys like that can only help our team. The chemistry will develop quickly. It's about encouraging each other and having confidence we'll get the most out of each other."

Curry, 31, added: "I'm the oldest on the team now, so I've got to step my game up. 

"It's a tough business. You knew at some point there would be some hard changes. You talk about Andre and Shaun, they're two guys who do things the right way. They have the ultimate level of professionalism, a respect for what they say and do. 

"They're both three-time champs, and I think they have a lot left in the tank. It'll be fun and weird to watch them on different teams."

D'Angelo Russell is surprised he ended up with the Golden State Warriors.

The 23-year-old guard had been linked to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers, among others, this offseason but was acquired by Golden State in a sign-and-trade after the Brooklyn Nets landed Kevin Durant.

Russell discussed the deal when he met with reporters during his introductory news conference on Monday.

"It was a lot of surprises, just all around, throughout free agency," Russell said, via The Athletic. "So, I think it's just one to add to it. I knew it was an opportunity, I knew it was something that could possibly be true. We had to wait until a few other pieces did what they did."

Russell is expected to slot into the Warriors backcourt next to star Stephen Curry next season as Klay Thompson continues to recover from the torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) he suffered in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.

"I think it's something that, you have guys that can shoot, dribble and play make for others. That's a dangerous combo," Russell said. "A guy like [Curry], who gets hot anytime throughout the game, it's something that gives you an advantage throughout the game. To add another guy that can possibly do that, consistently, I think that's just an extra piece."

Russell had a career year for the Nets last season, averaging 21.1 points and seven assists while shooting 36.9 per cent from three-point range. He made his first All-Star team, as well.

Russell inked a four-year max contract, but many have speculated the Warriors may look to move him for another asset once Thompson returns healthy.

"That's the business of it. It is what it is," Russell said. "You put yourself in position to go somewhere for a long period of time and it may not be what it is a year later. That's the business. I've come to the realisation of that, I understand that. Whatever situation I'm in, I know the business side of it. We'll just see. I can't predict it."

The Warriors traded Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies in order to create salary cap space to add Russell.

Remember when the Toronto Raptors created history by winning the NBA title? You should do, as it was less than three weeks ago when the Finals finished.

However, with the playoffs over and the draft done and dusted, it is now time for the NBA to move on to the next major event - free agency.

At 18:00 ET (22:00 GMT) on Sunday, the negotiating can officially begin. Those out of contract get the chance to hold meetings with prospective new employers, and this year's list of available players includes some of the biggest names in the league.

The Los Angeles Lakers created waves by acquiring Anthony Davis, and now it is time to sit back and see how that blockbuster deal ripples through the rest of the NBA. It only takes one big trade – or two major injuries to deposed champions – to create a completely different landscape.

So, before the madness starts, we look at those who can expect to be making the headlines in the coming days and weeks.

 

THE TEAMS

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers have grand plans but are light on numbers. Trading for Davis came at a high price and they have gutted the roster with the clear aim of another superstar to combine with Davis and LeBron James. However, the desire to hit the jackpot has forced them to mortgage their long-term future.

Los Angeles Clippers

Yes, that's right, there are two teams hoping to make it big in LA. The Clippers reached the playoffs last season and landed a couple of haymakers on the Golden State Warriors in the first round, yet that was all a welcome bonus. In the shadow of their city rivals, they want to land one of the big fish in the free agency pond.

Brooklyn Nets

Like the Clippers, the Nets surprisingly reached the postseason. They did so with a collection of players cobbled together through trades and the draft. There is room to add superstars (note the plural there) to those still under contract in Brooklyn, but that will alter the dynamic of a group that gelled so well together.

New York Knicks

The Knicks are hoping the lure of New York can help add a star to make them a headline act again. But, much like the Lakers in Los Angeles, they suddenly have noisy neighbours. It will be a major blow to the Knicks if any of their leading targets opt to relocate to Brooklyn instead.

And the rest...

While Kyrie Irving failed to pan out as planned, the Boston Celtics still have young talent and enough cap room to work something out. Then there is the New Orleans Pelicans, minus Davis but with top draft pick Zion Williamson and a number of the Lakers' cast-offs. Watch out for the Denver Nuggets and the Philadelphia 76ers as well, two teams with serious title aspirations.

 

THE PLAYERS

Kevin Durant – The ruptured Achilles suffered in the NBA Finals could cost him an entire season but will not hurt him in terms of his next contract. Long linked with the Knicks, he could still yet opt to stay with the Warriors. Even with his injury, Durant is going to be in high demand.

Kawhi Leonard – Toronto's gamble to trade for Leonard paid off in spectacular fashion. The lure of defending the title with largely the same roster may sway Leonard to remain in Canada a little while longer, though Los Angeles has always been rumoured as his likely long-term destination.

Kyrie Irving – The point guard did not perform as expected in Boston, but that will not deter teams from showing interest. Could he join up again with LeBron at the Lakers? Possibly, though Brooklyn are thought to be heading the queue to secure his signature.

Kemba Walker – Irving is not the only All-Star point guard up for grabs. Charlotte can offer Walker more money to remain a Hornet, yet their former first-round pick could decide the time is right to buzz off. Boston and the Dallas Mavericks are reportedly keen.

Jimmy Butler – The 76ers leaned heavily on Butler in the playoffs, and the presence of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons makes Philadelphia a genuine contender in the East. Both Los Angeles franchises could call, while the Houston Rockets and Miami Heat are rumoured to be exploring sign-and-trade possibilities.

Klay Thompson – After Durant went down in the Finals, Golden State suffered a second serious injury blow when Thompson tore his ACL in Game 6. So, could we have seen the last of the Splash Brothers in tandem? The Warriors will be loath to lose Stephen Curry's back-court partner, particularly to a Western Conference rival.

And the rest…

Malcolm Brogdon, Kristaps Porzingis and D'Angelo Russell are all restricted free agents, giving their teams the chance to match any offer they receive. Khris Middleton, JJ Redick and Bojan Bogdanovic are shooters who can expect to be well paid, while big men Al Horford and Nikola Vucevic will not go short with their next contracts. Then there is DeMarcus Cousins, who showed flashes with Golden State after returning from injury.

Magic Johnson believes the Los Angeles Lakers should consider re-signing D'Angelo Russell from the Brooklyn Nets.

Russell spent his first two seasons in Los Angeles after being drafted with the second pick in 2015, before he was traded to the Nets in 2017 by Johnson and the Lakers. 

The 23-year-old guard earned his first All-Star appearance in 2018-19 as he led the Nets to the playoffs for the first time since 2014-15.

However, Russell – who will be a restricted free agent and the Nets can match any other sheet he signs with another team – "may be open" to returning to the Lakers according to reporters.

Johnson, who stepped down as the Lakers' president of basketball operations in April, feels a reunion would be good for both sides.

"He's better now," Johnson told The Athletic. "He's a different player. He's more mature."

The Nets are expected to pursue Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving, which may make Russell expendable. The Lakers also reportedly have interest in Irving as they prepare to finalise a trade for New Orleans Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis.

Russell averaged a career-high 21.1 points and 7.0 assists while shooting 36.9 per cent from three-point range in 81 games in 2018-19.

The Nets exceeded expectations last season by making it to the postseason. They were topped by the Philadelphia 76ers in five games in their first-round series.

"If we're being completely honest, I enjoyed the team that we had this whole season," Russell told The New York Post about free agency earlier this month. "I'm not going to say I didn't enjoy our team, and the pieces we had around."

Russell is more likely to think about signing with the Lakers because of Johnson's resignation, according to Bleacher Report.

The guard has also been linked to the Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns, amongst others.

Los Angeles are also expected to pursue Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker and Kawhi Leonard, amongst others.

D'Angelo Russell does not want to leave the Brooklyn Nets.

The 23-year-old guard developed into an All-Star this season for the Nets and led the franchise to their first playoff appearance since 2014-15.

Russell will be a restricted free agent this offseason.

"I definitely want to be here," Russell said on Wednesday, via the New York Daily News.

"But I also know it's a business, too. I'm not going to play that role like I don't know what could possibly happen. Say somebody comes here that I have to be a part of [a transaction to acquire them], I know that could be a possibility.

"So, I just want to stay in this moment and not speak too soon about anything."

Russell was originally selected by the Lakers with the second pick in 2015. He spent two seasons in Los Angeles before he was traded to Brooklyn in June 2017.

He averaged a career-high 21.1 points and seven assists in 2018-19.

"I set so many goals going into this season," Russell said. "I wanted to be an All Star, I wanted to make the playoffs, I wanted to stay healthy and play 80-plus games… I just wanted to be healthy. I know if I'm healthy that will take care of a lot things. So, my prayers, all that stuff, were answered, I couldn't be more proud of the way we handled it this year."

Russell said he has a strong relationship with Nets coach Kenny Atkinson.

"I take pride in creating genuine relationships with people that genuinely care about you," Russell said. "And coach [Atkinson] is one of the most genuine, emotional, man he's a great dude. And I thank him as much as I can just for giving me the opportunity to come over here and be me and learn how to be a better me at the same time. And he gave me the guidance."

The Nets were eliminated from the playoffs in the opening round by the Philadelphia 76ers in five games.

The Brooklyn Nets are heading to the NBA postseason for the first time since 2014-15 after defeating the Indiana Pacers.

Brooklyn ended their playoff drought thanks to Sunday's 108-96 win over the Pacers in Indiana, where they had lost seven successive games dating back to March 2015.

All-Star point guard D'Angelo Russell scored 20 points as the Nets recovered from an 8-18 record to start the season – improving to 41-10 in the Eastern Conference.

"It's an amazing feeling man," Russell told YES Network. "We've got a great group of guys. Great coaching staff. I think it's the best group to do this with man. It's a lot of our first times doing it. It's going to be a blast, I'm excited.

"We knew what it was going to take. Honestly we knew what we had to do. We knew how we were going to come together collectively and do it as a group. And that's the outcome for us. The result was what we deserve."

Russell, 23, made his first All-Star team this season. He leads the Nets in points (21.1) and assists per game (seven) in 2018-19 and has been a driving force behind Brooklyn's success.

The Nets are sixth in the Eastern Conference standings. They will likely have a tough first-round playoff matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors or Philadelphia 76ers.

 

Brooklyn Nets point guard D'Angelo Russell will make his first NBA All-Star appearance after replacing Victor Oladipo.

Russell will fill the void left by injured Indiana Pacers star Oladipo as an Eastern Conference reserve, becoming the first Nets All-Star since 2013-14.

The 22-year-old is averaging career highs in points (19.6) and assists (6.4) this season, leading a young Brooklyn team to a 28-25 record and sixth spot in the Eastern Conference.

Oladipo was enjoying a fine campaign before suffering a season-ending ruptured quad tendon in his right knee against the Toronto Raptors on January 23.

Now, Russell will feature in the 68th All-Star game, featuring Team LeBron against Team Giannis, at Spectrum Center in Charlotte on February 17.

Jimmy Butler posted his second successive 38-point game to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 117-111 win against the Detroit Pistons, while LeBron James was unable to lift the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 76ers were without NBA All-Star big man Joel Embiid but a Butler-inspired Philadelphia rallied to beat the Pistons on Friday.

Butler finished with 38 points – 13 in the fourth quarter – six rebounds and six assists, making 12 of 26 field goals for the 76ers, who trailed by as many as 15 points in the third quarter.

Ben Simmons posted a double-double. He had 18 points and 13 boards. JJ Redick and Mike Muscala also finished with 18 points apiece.

Blake Griffin had 28 points and 11 rebounds but the Pistons still fell to their third consecutive defeat.

James had 35 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds in the Lakers' 133-120 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

DeMar DeRozan inspired the Spurs – who had eight players score in double figures – with 36 points and nine assists.

Meanwhile, 20 points apiece from Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry saw the Golden State Warriors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 105-95.

 

Hornets halt Nuggets, Westbrook triple-double fails to spark Thunder

The Charlotte Hornets ended the first-place Denver Nuggets' seven-game winning streak behind a game-high performance 21 points from Kemba Walker. But, Tony Parker was a big help as he came off the bench and finished with a solid 19 points, four rebounds, and two assists to get Charlotte a 113-107 win.

Russell Westbrook recorded his fifth triple-double of the season behind 24 points, 17 boards and 13 assists. But, that was not enough to overcome the Chicago Bulls, who went on to win 114-112. 

The Brooklyn Nets surprisingly outlasted the Toronto Raptors 106-105 in overtime and were led by third-year point guard D'Angelo Russell. He finished with 29 points and was plus-11 on the night. 

 

Simmons struggles as Magic lose

The Orlando Magic did not see much from Jonathon Simmons. He had yet another low-scoring performance, and finished the night with just two points in 22 minutes on the court for a minus-13 in a 112-90 defeat to the Indiana Pacers.

New Orleans just needed a little bit more help if they wanted to beat Memphis. But one starter was not able to provide it. Tim Frazier was the only Pelicans starter who did not score in double digits. He had just seven points in the team's 107-103 loss to the Grizzlies.

 

Kawhi with the slam!

What can't Kawhi Leonard do? In this play, he did it all despite Toronto's loss.

Talk about teamwork. James finds JaVale McGee for this beauty against the Spurs.

 

Friday's results

Indiana Pacers 112-90 Orlando Magic
Charlotte Hornets 113-107 Denver Nuggets
Philadelphia 76ers 117-111 Detroit Pistons
Sacramento Kings 129-110 Cleveland Cavaliers
Brooklyn Nets 106-105 Toronto Raptors (OT)
Chicago Bulls 114-112 Oklahoma City Thunder
Memphis Grizzlies 107-103 New Orleans Pelicans
San Antonio Spurs 133-120 Los Angeles Lakers
Miami Heat 115-98 Phoenix Suns
Golden State Warriors 105-95 Milwaukee Bucks

Lakers at Grizzlies

The Lakers and the Grizzlies are sitting near the top of the Western Conference standings. But, with each team playing consecutive days, Saturday's contest will show who can overcome the fatigue to try and catch up with the conference leaders. So, who will get the edge at FedEx Forum? It could be the streaking Grizzlies, who have won three of their last four games after a skid. Or, it could be the Lakers, who fell to the Spurs in their second straight matchup with San Antonio on Friday.

Kenny Atkinson admitted the Brooklyn Nets have lost "the heart and soul" of their team after Caris LeVert suffered a serious lower leg injury on Monday.

LeVert hurt his right leg while contesting a drive to the basket during the Nets' game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The incident, which happened during the closing stages of the second quarter at Target Center, left players from both teams visibly shaken, with the shooting guard taken off the court on a gurney.

The Timberwolves went on to win 120-113, though Brooklyn coach Atkinson insisted the final score did not matter.

"He's the heart and soul of our programme so a really tough blow, I feel for him," he said. 

"He's had a fantastic start to the season, he's obviously made a huge jump. I just know if anybody's coming back from this, knowing the human, the character, the person, the player - he'll come back from this.

"A tough, tough blow for the Nets. Our only thoughts are with him, nothing else matters. The game doesn't matter.

"It's a devastating blow for us, for him. That's all I really want to say about this. Our thoughts should be with him and his recovery and I really don't want to talk about the game or anything else."

LeVert was traded to Brooklyn after being selected with the 20th pick by the Indiana Pacers in the 2016 NBA draft. He is averaging a career-high 18.4 points in his third season in the league.

"It's not something you want to see, especially in sports, but it's something you do see and it's unfortunate," Nets point guard D'Angelo Russell said after the game.

"Our prayers are with Caris and we're praying for a speedy recovery.

"That's our brother. You don't want to see that for anybody. For us to see our brother go down, that we're in practice with every day, on flights with every day, it's devastating to the stomach.

"We can keep our prayers for him and step up and try to build off of it."

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