D’Angelo Russell Reportedly Trashed Former Teammate Rudy Gobert To His Face Before Being Traded

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The Phoenix Suns made the biggest move of the NBA trade deadline when they acquired superstar Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets.

But the Los Angeles Lakers weren’t too far behind.

The Lakers somehow managed to turn Russell Westbrook and a 2027 first round pick into three useful players via a trade with the Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves.

The core of the deal saw the Lakers send Westbrook and the pick to Utah. While Minnesota acquired Jazz guards Mike Conley and Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Los Angeles landed T-Wolves guard D’Angelo Russell as well as Utah guard Malik Beasley and center Jarred Vanderbilt.

The move was seen as a massive coup for the Lakers. Both Beasley and Vanderbilt are strong rotation players. But it was Russell that stole the headline.

Los Angeles initially drafted Russell with the second pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. He was then traded to the Brooklyn Nets and later the Timberwolves.

In that time, however, Russell blossomed into an All-Star caliber player for Brooklyn. He made his lone All-Star appearance in 2019. While he hasn’t yet reached those heights in Minnesota, some were still surprised to see Minnesota move on for him so cheaply.

Now we may know why.

D’Angelo Russell Criticized Former Teammate Rudy Gobert On Court And In Locker Room

The Timberwolves went all-in this past summer when they traded an immense package of draft picks and players to Utah in order to acquire three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.

It hasn’t worked out.

Minnesota is just 30-28 this season and Gobert’s defense has been well off it’s previously level.

Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reported Thursday that Russell took note of this. Krawczynski stated that Russell and Gobert had multiple incidents that led to Russell getting traded.

“D-Lo tried to make it work, but it was uncomfortable at times. We would come into the locker room and you could hear him actively bemaoning the situation. I’ve talked to coaches and players from other teams who heard him getting down on Rudy during games. There was this perception that D’Angelo Russell was very frustrated with Gobert and didn’t seem as open to working with him or trying to find a happy medium as maybe some of the other players were trying to do, to make what has so far been a disappointing trade, try to make it work somehow.” – via CBS Sports

Gobert had similar issues with former teammate Donovan Mitchell in Utah. So it’s not surprising to hear that Russell was unhappy. And when you invest what Minnesota did in Gobert, there was never a doubt who would win that war.