The expectations for the Minnesota Timberwolves getting into the 2022-23 season had been heightened exponentially after they swung a blockbuster commerce for Rudy Gobert this previous offseason. As a substitute, they’ve crawled out to a gradual begin, and have been probably the most disappointing groups to start out the 12 months. Many gamers are struggling, however D’Angelo Russell often is the greatest wrongdoer.
Russell’s function with the Timberwolves has shrunk a bit as a result of Gobert’s arrival, however he’s remained the group’s start line guard within the backcourt alongside Anthony Edwards. The issue is that Russell’s per sport numbers (13.5 PPG, 5.6 APG, 4 RPG, 37.9 FG%) are method down from the place they’ve been all through his profession.
As Russell continues to battle, requires the Timberwolves to commerce him have elevated, and with every passing loss, these commerce rumors will solely proceed to extend. Because the Timberwolves start to discover a possible commerce for Russell, let’s check out the three greatest locations for him if he had been to finish up getting moved this season.
3. Los Angeles Lakers
For as dangerous as issues search for the Timberwolves, the Lakers function a reminder that issues may all the time be worse. The Lakers have been one of many worst groups within the league to start out the season, going simply 2-8 of their first ten video games, they usually can use just about all the assistance they’ll get. Including Russell to their backcourt could possibly be a transfer that helps their offense open up.
The Lakers backcourt has been fairly complicated this season, which isn’t a shock. Russell Westbrook has been strong coming off the bench, however the remainder of the rotation, which consists of Lonnie Walker IV, Austin Reaves, Kendrick Nunn, and Patrick Beverley, hasn’t been that spectacular. Including a talented offensive guard in Russell may assist out the Lakers drastically.
Russell can be an important complement alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis within the sense that he can play in a extra off ball function when James needs to take over. Russell’s capturing numbers are down to start out the season, but when he can bounce again, he’ll add perimeter scoring to a Los Angeles group that desperately wants it. It might not repair all the pieces, however including D’Angelo Russell can be a begin for the Lakers.
2. New York Knicks
Much like the Lakers, the New York Knicks have a somewhat messy backcourt state of affairs that could possibly be improved by buying Russell. The Knicks appear to be they’re on the verge of placing collectively a playoff run this season, as Jalen Brunson has been an important match on offense and Julius Randle has been placing collectively a little bit of a bounce again marketing campaign early on. Russell could possibly be the lacking piece right here.
The Knicks ideally want to play Quentin Grimes alongside Brunson within the backcourt, however he’s performed simply two video games up to now this season, forcing Evan Fournier into a much bigger function. That hasn’t labored out too nicely, as Fournier has had a gradual begin to the season. Immanuel Quickley continues to return off the bench, however he’s been even worse than Fournier to start out the season.
Russell must play capturing guard, as Brunson has excelled working the offense up to now, however that could be a transfer he would simply have the ability to make right here. Once more, Russell hasn’t appeared nice to start out the season, however that’s largely a product of the Timberwolves messy offense. If D’Angelo Russell may are available in and supply the Knicks with one other regular scoring choice, that might assist them take off this season.
1. Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards are one of many extra complicated groups within the NBA this season, as they’ve had violent swings between wanting competent and searching like one of many worst groups within the league. However contemplating the large deal they gave to Bradley Beal this offseason, the Wizards type of have to seek out methods to contend, and including Russell could possibly be the proper transfer for them.
The Wizards have been working Monte Morris within the backcourt alongside Beal, and whereas he’s been alright, he’s higher suited being a bench participant. Beal is at his greatest when he has a real level guard taking part in alongside him; it’s no shock the perfect season of his profession got here when he was taking part in alongside the pass-first Westbrook. Russell isn’t the identical sort of passer as Westbrook, however he did common a career-high 7.1 assists per sport final season.
The Wizards finally might not be a playoff contender within the Jap Convention, however including Russell would give them their greatest likelihood at contending, and will additionally give them a long-term backcourt associate for Beal transferring ahead. Whereas Washington might not be a winner this season, they’re the group that might use D’Angelo Russell’s companies essentially the most proper now, making them a logical touchdown spot for him.