|2015 NBA Draft||NBA||Drafted 2nd overall by L.A. Lakers.|
|10th July, 2015||NBA||Signed four year, $23,017,978 rookie scale contract with L.A. Lakers. Included team options for 2017/18 and 2018/19.|
|25th October, 2016||NBA||L.A. Lakers exercised 2017/18 team option.|
|22nd June, 2017||NBA||Traded by L.A. Lakers, along with Timofey Mozgov, to Brooklyn in exchange for Brook Lopez and a 2017 first round pick (#27, Kyle Kuzma).|
|12th October, 2017||NBA||Brooklyn exercised 2018/19 team option.|
|8th January, 2018||G-League||Assigned by Brooklyn to Long Island Nets of the G-League.|
|8th January, 2018||G-League||Recalled by Brooklyn from Long Island Nets of the G-League.|
|15th January, 2018||G-League||Assigned by Brooklyn to Long Island Nets of the G-League.|
|15th January, 2018||G-League||Recalled by Brooklyn from Long Island Nets of the G-League.|
|2014 - 2015||Ohio State (NCAA)|
|June 2015 - June 2017||L.A. Lakers (NBA)|
|June 2017 - present||Brooklyn Nets (NBA)|
June 29, 2018
PG/SG - 6’5, 195lbs - 22 years old - 3 years of experience
Russell’s credentials as the Lead Guard Of The Future would be more secure if Spencer Dinwiddie had not just outplayed him. For the third year in a row, his games played has declined, managing barely half of this season, while his turnovers have increased. Russell is playing the same sort of style he always has and seemingly always will, dominating the ball and looking to score when he can, and creating when it is flashy to do so. But all that has led to is striking inefficiencies and unfavourable advanced statistics.
Mainly, the shot selection is the problem. With his excellent handle, Russell can create looks for himself. Yet he normally makes it predictable by wanting only to create a slither of space for a jump shot. He plays as though he is Stephen Curry without having the shot making talent of Stephen Curry. And as a combination, it does not work. Russell takes bad ones, avoids contact at the rim at all costs, and similarly avoids the dirty work on defence. He has a lot of tools, but not yet the results.
Going forward, Russell should be a very good fit for (and/or foundation of) the Atkinson system. But this will only work if he makes changes and further develops. Develops his skills, develops his toughness, develops his decision making, develops his jump shot, and develops a new mindset. There is plenty of talent to work with, but this is not how to go about it.
Next season will be vital for him. With free agency approaching, he will need to prove his health, his abilities, and his desire to change.
Player Plan: One year of rookie scale salary remaining, Extension eligible, but with so much still to prove, it seems an unlikely route to go down unless he is bizarrely available for much less than his perceived value. His actual value is not that high.
June 29, 2017
PG/SG, 6’5, 195lbs, 21 years old, 2 years of experience
On a very high usage rate for one so young, Russell was given the opportunity to lead the team, and did not. His own performance did improve slightly on his rookie numbers, but he took a lot of shots, of all kinds, and was not efficient on any of them. Russell's scoring game is mostly the jump shot, and often the jump shot off the dribble, an aspect of the game for which he is good at creating space, yet not one in which he is yielding consistent form or results. The defence is worse, and for all the Manu Ginobili-like projections, Russell is currently closer to a prime Mike James. He does however have both plenty of talent, and plenty of time to put it together. The Nets may not have the talent, but they do have the time. So this is a good pairing.
Player Plan: Two years of rookie scale salary left. For his plentiful flaws, Russell represents the closest thing to a foundational piece going forward, and should be given every opportunity to succeed on the court. It is hereby noted that that’s what he received in two years in Los Angeles, and that it didn’t work there.