Jared Dudley speaks on D’Angelo Russell in interview with The Athletic

Los Angeles Lakers forward Jared Dudley played with D’Angelo Russell for one season in Brooklyn, and during that time Dudley got to know how curious Russell is about improving his skill set.

Dudley spoke with The Athletic‘s Ethan Strauss about Russell, and he said the All-Star guard asked him questions about how to work on his game:

I credit him for being a young guy who wanted to listen, who took information very well and responded and even asked questions.

Dudley said he talked with Russell about specific areas where he needed to improve, whether it was reducing his turnovers or being a better defender. Last season, Russell had 3.1 turnovers a game, tying a career-high from the 2017-18 season.

But Russell, who was a first-time All-Star last season, also had the ball in his hands more than ever, boasting a career-high usage percentage of 31.9%.

Along with mentioning how Russell wants to improve, Dudley said the two also talked about contracts. Dudley said Russell wanted a max contract no matter where he ended up:

D’Angelo wanted to get the max. So I’m not surprised. He would’ve gone to, you know, Saudi Arabia, if he could have gotten the max there. I’m not surprised he took that. Now, would he have took a little bit less to go to a better situation or a situation he might have preferred? Possibly. That’s something that he could tell you.

When it came to talking about Russell’s fit with Golden State, Dudley said he feels it will be difficult to integrate him. But he said it will also be hard since the Warriors won’t have Klay Thompson for the first half of the season. Thompson suffered a left ACL injury during Game 6 of the NBA Finals, and he is expected to return in February or March, per ESPN’s Nick Friedell. 

As the new NBA season approaches, it will be interesting to see how the Warriors fare. It’s a new era for them, with Kevin Durant gone to Brooklyn. But Dudley said he believes the Warriors can still be a playoff team.

So I still see them, you know, it’s not going to be a team that’s rock bottom. Not that at all, but I could still see them making the playoffs and even win a series, once Klay came back.

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