Pacific Notes: D-Lo, Vanderbilt, Duarte, Huerter, J. Green

Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell is a talented scorer, shooter, and passer, but has been targeted on the defensive end of the court over the years, a fact that he’s aware of and is making an effort to remedy, as Jovan Buha and Jay King of The Athletic write.

“Last year they found a way to get me off the floor by not playing defense, I guess,” Russell said. “So, try to be a reason to eliminate that. Not give them a reason to not have me on the floor. Try to be as dangerous as I can on offense and try not to be a liability on defense. So, that’s what I’m working on. I’m trying to do it now before the season so I continue to practice those good habits.”

Interestingly, Russell named Derrick White as a role model, praising the Celtics guard for making “all the winning plays,” even if he doesn’t necessarily get credit for them. According to Russell, that’s the type of player he aspires to be.

“I woke up to it and I was shocked, really,” White said when asked by The Athletic about Russell’s endorsement. “Obviously D-Lo’s an All-Star, has done a lot of great things in this league, a highly talented player. So it’s cool to get recognized like that, especially by a guy who’s done so much in the league like he has.”

Here are a few more notes from around the Pacific:

  • Lakers forward Jarred Vanderbilt, who is battling left heel soreness, will be reevaluated on Friday, head coach Darvin Ham told reporters earlier this week (Twitter link via Khobi Price of The Southern California News Group). Vanderbilt hasn’t played since the team’s preseason opener on October 7.
  • The Kings still haven’t made a decision on whether to start Kevin Huerter or Chris Duarte on the wing in their regular season opener, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. However, a left knee injury for Duarte may give Huerter a leg up — Duarte has been diagnosed with a bone bruise and will miss the remainder of the preseason, as Anderson writes.
  • The non-guaranteed contract that swingman Javonte Green signed with the Warriors includes Exhibit 9 language, but not an Exhibit 10 clause, Hoops Rumors has learned. Green is one of three veterans on the roster – along with Rudy Gay and Rodney McGruder – whose camp contract isn’t an Exhibit 10 deal. That means those vets may not be candidates to join the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League if they don’t make Golden State’s regular season roster.
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