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D'Angelo Russell Says 'Hell Yeah' Regarding Potential T-Wolves Contract Extension

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 14, 2022

Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

When asked about his future with the Timberwolves, D'Angelo Russell did not mince words: He wants to be in Minnesota.

"Hell yeah," Russell said when asked if he wants a contract extension before the start of the 2022-23 season, per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. "Obviously every player wants an extension, and you want to be in a position to do that."

Russell will make $31.4 million next season in the final year of the rookie max contract he originally signed with the Golden State Warriors in 2019.

It's almost certain he would have to take a significant pay cut for the Wolves to seriously consider signing him to an extension. Minnesota signed Karl-Anthony Towns to a four-year, $224 million supermax deal and owes Rudy Gobert the remaining $170 million on the five-year, $205 million extension he signed with Utah in 2020 after trading for him earlier this offseason.

With what will certainly be a rookie-max contract for Anthony Edwards kicking in during the 2024-25 season, the Wolves are already looking at a future of potential luxury tax payments. A two-year Russell extension could give Minnesota upward of $150 million invested in four players by 2024-25.

That's awfully expensive for a small-market team still not projected to be an NBA Finals contender next season.

Investing in Russell is not without its on-court risk as well. He's seemingly topped out as a below-average NBA starting point guard, a guy who can occasionally get streaky and win you games but just as easily lose them with his decision-making. The 26-year-old essentially shot himself out of the lineup in Minnesota's first-round loss to the Memphis Grizzlies this year, with coach Chris Finch finishing the series with Jordan McLaughlin manning the point guard spot.

Russell shot just 33.3 percent from the floor against Memphis and has struggled mightily in each of his two career playoff series.

The Wolves may want to be prudent on an extension and wait to see how Russell meshes on the floor with Gobert next season.

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