The Minnesota Timberwolves have been fined $25,000 for resting star guard D'Angelo Russell, the NBA announced.

Minnesota violated the league's player resting policy after 2019 All-Star Russell – who sat out on February 8 due to a quadriceps injury – did not face the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.

The NBA "deemed Russell a healthy player under the policy that was designed in part to minimise star player absences from nationally televised games".

In a statement, the Timberwolves said: ''While we respect the league's guidelines and standards, we are a player-centric organisation that's focused on learning and optimizing our players' bodies.

''As a new player in our program, we chose to rest D'Angelo in order to learn his body better and to optimise his health during a difficult stretch of games and travel."

Russell – acquired from the Golden State Warriors prior to the trade deadline – is averaging 23.7 points, 6.5 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game this season.

 

 

Nick Nurse feels the Toronto Raptors are delivering their "A-plus game" after they extended their winning run to 15 to spoil D'Angelo Russell's Minnesota Timberwolves debut.

Pascal Siakam scored a game-high 34 points, with OG Anunoby pouring in 25 and plucking 12 rebounds to keep the Raptors on a roll at Scotiabank Arena on Monday.

The defending NBA champions boast the longest streak by a Canadian franchise and are 40-14 after a 137-126 victory over the Timberwolves, who acquired All-Star point guard Russell before the trade deadline last week.

Raptors head coach Nurse does not believe he could ask much more from his side, who are second in the Eastern Conference behind the Milwaukee Bucks (46-7).

"Well, first of all, it didn't feel like it was a win going away for quite a long time," said Nurse.

"I think we're getting everybody's A-plus game. They were really good, I thought, for a lot of stretches.

"We just had to try to figure some things out and we had a lot of unconnected defensive for a lot of the game, but the chemistry of those guys that were out there started to build."

Nurse says the holders' hunger and self-belief has been key to their incredible winning run.

"I think these guys have proven enough that they can win. We've had a lot of injuries this year and everybody just keeps stepping up and playing," he added.

"One thing you've got to do is at least go out there and give a great effort, give yourself a chance, don't let them play harder than you.

"If you think you are under-sized, or under-talented or whatever, you've got to maybe take your level of energy and toughness up. I think they do that most nights."

D'Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns have each purchased 1,000 tickets to give away for fans to attend the All-Star guard's Minnesota Timberwolves home debut.

Minnesota made three separate moves ahead of the trade deadline and brought in a total of eight new players, with Russell acquired from the Golden State Warriors in a deal that saw Andrew Wiggins head in the opposite direction.

The six-year guard was warmly received when he was introduced to a sold-out Target Center ahead of Saturday's 142-115 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Russell told the vocal crowd to "keep that s*** going" and has combined with new team-mate and All-Star center Towns to grant 2,000 fans free entry to his first appearance at his new home against the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.

"I've felt the love from Timberwolves fans since I first stepped foot in Minnesota," said Russell. "Karl and I are so excited for what's ahead so in appreciation of all the support, we wanted to give fans tickets to a game.

"Last Saturday night was amazing, and I can't wait to feel that atmosphere again Wednesday night at Target Center."

Towns said: "I appreciate all the fans for giving my brother D'Angelo a warm Minnesota welcome. We're excited about this new direction and wanted to give fans the chance to come out to a game on us. We look forward to a very loud Target Center on Wednesday night."

The Timberwolves have a 16-35 record, the second-worst in the Western Conference.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said Andrew Wiggins is a "better positional fit" for the NBA franchise than D'Angelo Russell.

Russell was only acquired by the Warriors in a sign-and-trade in July following Kevin Durant's departure to the Brooklyn Nets via free agency, however, Golden State dealt the star guard to the Minnesota Timberwolves prior to Thursday's trade deadline.

In return, the Warriors claimed shooting guard and 2014 number one draft pick Wiggins to compliment All-Stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

"We know that Andrew is a better positional fit for us than what D'Angelo was, just given that Steph and Klay will be back by next season -- hopefully before then in Steph's case, " Kerr said.

"So he's a good positional fit, athletically -- now it's a matter of catching Andrew up to speed with what we like to do here and really trying to make an impact on him regarding our process and how we like to do our business and how we can help him get better and how he can help our team get better.

"That's gonna be what these next couple months are about from a team process, along with helping grow and develop the younger players."

Kerr added: "To be perfectly blunt, the fit was questionable when we signed him. Nobody questioned that.

"When you already have Steph and Klay and you add a ball-dominant guard you can rightfully question the fit. That was one of those reasons the trade rumours started before the season even began and I think D'Angelo understood that before he signed the contract."

This season, Wiggins has been averaging 22.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.

As for Russell, he has landed with his fourth team in his fifth NBA season as the All-Star prepares to team up with friend Karl-Anthony Towns in Minnesota.

"I've been seeing from a distance, and from close-up, the ship that Karl's kind of been driving around here for years," Russell said on Friday. "Players come and go from here. I take it they didn't appreciate the situation here or whatever that may be, but watching from a distance I knew I could help Karl. I've never played with a dynamic big just like him."

Russell has been averaging 23.6 points, 6.2 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game in 2019-20.

D'Angelo Russell and Andrew Wiggins swapped teams while Andre Drummond found a new home in Cleveland on what was a busy trade deadline day in the NBA.

Russell was only acquired by Golden State in July but the point guard is relocating again, the Warriors striking a deal to send the player to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Wiggins – taken first overall in the 2014 draft – is heading in the opposite direction, with the Timberwolves also giving up a 2021 protected first-round pick and a second-round selection for the same year.

As well as Russell, who is averaging a career-high 23.6 points this season, Minnesota also acquired Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman.

The Timberwolves had already been involved in a blockbuster four-team trade prior to Thursday's deadline, sending Robert Covington to Houston in a deal that involved 12 players.

Center Clint Capela was part of it, moving from the Rockets to the Atlanta Hawks, who also added another big man in Nene. Minnesota added Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Evan Turner and Juan Hernangomez, while also collecting the Brooklyn Nets' 2020 first-round draft pick via Atlanta.

Drummond was another center to be traded - much to his surprise - as the Detroit Pistons moved the two-time NBA All-Star, who they drafted in the first round in 2012, to the Cavaliers.

In exchange, the Pistons received John Henson, Brandon Knight and a second-round draft pick in 2023.

Drummond, who is averaging a career-best 17.8 points this season, as well as 15.8 rebounds per game, was not pleased with the way the trade was handled, however, as he revealed on Twitter.

"If there’s one thing I learned about the NBA, there’s no friends or loyalty," he posted. "I've given my heart and soul to the Pistons, and to be have this happen with no heads up makes me realise even more that this is just a business! I love you Detroit..."

He then continued in a second tweet: "You will always have a special place in my heart! But on to the next @cavs hope your (sic) ready! Let's finish the year off the right way."

The Los Angeles Clippers made a late move to strength their roster ahead of the playoffs, Marcus Morris and Isaiah Thomas joining from the New York Knicks in a three-team deal that also involved the Washington Wizards.

Jerome Robinson is to join the Wizards, while the Knicks will receive Moe Harkless plus a 2020 first-round pick, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Golden State Warriors point guard D'Angelo Russell insists he is utterly unfazed by rumours of a four-way trade that could see him join the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Russell only joined Golden State last year following a two-year spell with the Brooklyn Nets – his 2019 form earning him an All-Star selection as Victor Oladipo's replacement.

The 23-year-old has played nine of the Warriors' past 10 matches and was expected to return to the line-up on Wednesday against the Nets after a quadricep injury.

The Timberwolves are reportedly attempting to organise a multi-team trade with the hopes of eventually ensnaring Russell – and he seems open to all eventualities.

"I am comfortable with being uncomfortable," Russell said.

"A lot of teams want a point guard and I am bouncing around – why not put me in those talks and try to get me? I understand the business side and what is going on. It is nothing new.

"I can't lie and say I don't see it [the rumours]. I've got to answer questions about it. It is what it is.

"I'm here [Golden State] right now. [There's] no telling where I will be in the next few [years], so, wherever I go, my feet will be there."

Another move would see Russell link up with a fourth different team, having also represented the Los Angeles Lakers from 2015 to 2017.

While he accepts such a nomadic career can be "crazy", Russell is embracing the excitement.

"I tell myself I'm five years [in the league] going on 10," he added. "I don't know what 10 years is going to look like for me, but I am enjoying it. It has been a crazy career so far."

Golden State Warriors guard D'Angelo Russell will be sidelined for at least two weeks with a sprained right thumb.

The Warriors confirmed the thumb sprain on Saturday following an MRI, with Russell to be re-evaluated in a fortnight.

Russell hurt his thumb in the third quarter of Friday's 105-100 NBA loss to the in-form Boston Celtics.

It is another blow for the Warriors, who have been ravaged by injuries during their woeful 2-11 start to the season.

Stephen Curry broke his hand in October, while fellow All-Star Klay Thompson is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament sustained during last season's NBA Finals.

The Warriors acquired Russell from the Brooklyn Nets in a sign-and-trade after Kevin Durant's departure in free agency.

Golden State Warriors stars Draymond Green and D'Angelo Russell will not feature against the Charlotte Hornets, the NBA team confirmed.

Green injured his left index finger during Friday's 127-110 loss to the San Antonio Spurs as the Warriors fell to 1-4 for the season.

And the struggling Warriors – who lost superstar Stephen Curry to a broken hand as Klay Thompson recovers from a serious knee injury – will be without Green for Saturday's visit of the Hornets in San Francisco.

"He's going to miss the next few games for sure," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. "There's a torn ligament in the finger, but it's not something that should keep him out for a long time.

"But I just talked to [Warriors director of sports medicine and performance] Rick [Celebrini] about it, he said most likely the next few games."

Green played 34 minutes against the Spurs on Friday; and he has averaged 28.8 through the team’s first five games.

Warriors recruit Russell – who was acquired from the Brooklyn Nets after Kevin Durant opted to swap teams via free agency – will also sit out Saturday's clash due to a sprained right ankle suffered in the loss to San Antonio.

"I just spoke with him, he's not going to play," Kerr said. "He's in a lot of pain this morning. He rolled his ankle, tweaked it last night, and it got worse overnight so he's out tonight."

On the absence of Green, Kerr added: "It's a huge challenge because he's one of the leaders on the team. With Steph not here last night it was really obvious that Draymond was the unquestioned leader of the group.

"At shootaround, during the game, at half-time, he's the one the players look up to. He's the one who's offering assistance and advice, and he's been great in that role. I'm really pleased with the way Draymond has handled himself and handled our young players.

"There's a reality to this situation that is difficult for everybody to deal with, but particularly a guy like Draymond who's so competitive, who's used to winning, who's known nothing but winning. So for him to set the emotion aside and understand he's got to help the young guys, he's been great. So without him on the floor, it just increases the challenge."

The Golden State Warriors' first NBA game at Chase Center ended in defeat as the Kawhi Leonard-led Los Angeles Clippers stayed unbeaten.

After 47 years at Oracle Arena in Oakland, the Warriors relocated to neighbouring San Francisco in the offseason.

But their first competitive game in San Francisco did not go according to plan following Thursday's 141-122 loss to the Clippers.

Even without Paul George, the Clippers looked great on both sides of the court as Leonard, Lou Williams and Patrick Patterson all finished with 20 or more points to preserve Los Angeles' perfect start after two games.

Stephen Curry and D'Angelo Russell were good for the Warriors, but Russell did not do much after scoring the Warriors' first 10 points and Curry struggled shooting the ball throughout the game, going two of 11 from three-point range.

Reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, meanwhile, became the first player in Milwaukee Bucks history to record a triple-double in a season opener.

Antetokounmpo – the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1966 with a 30-point triple-double in a season opener – finished with 30 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists as the Bucks overcame a 16-point half-time deficit to beat the Houston Rockets 117-111.

Every single Milwaukee starter finished in double digits in scoring, while Russell Westbrook led the Rockets with 24 points and 16 rebounds in his Houston debut. 

 

Young stars as Hawks fly high

Trae Young had 38 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in the Atlanta Hawks' 117-100 win over the Detroit Pistons.

 

Reddish and Harden struggle

Cam Reddish's rookie year is off to a tough shooting start. He scored one point on 0-of-six shooting, including 0 of five from three-point range. He did have seven rebounds, though.

James Harden scored 19 points, but the Rockets star went two-of-13 shooting in the loss to the Bucks.

 

Harden and Westbrook reunite

Harden and Westbrook look like they will at least be fun together in Houston.

 

Thursday's results

Atlanta Hawks 117-100 Detroit Pistons
Milwaukee Bucks 117-111 Houston Rockets
Los Angeles Clippers 141-122 Golden State Warriors

 

Jazz at Lakers

Two teams that added big pieces this offseason face off in Los Angeles on Friday. Mike Conley joins Donovan Mitchell in the Utah Jazz's backcourt, while Anthony Davis teams up with LeBron James and the Lakers. And that is not even the half of it as Danny Green, Bojan Bogdanovic (who may be hurt), Quinn Cook and Dwight Howard are all finding their way with new teams. 

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