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D’Angelo Russell says he doesn’t care what position he plays

Los Angeles’ young guard just wants to be on the floor.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The first time D’Angelo Russell played as a nominal point guard in high level basketball was in the NBA, so it would make sense if the Los Angeles Lakers guard didn’t feel particularly attached to the position.

According to Jovan Buha, that’s exactly the case, writing that Russell told reporters “he has no preference for which guard position he plays, as long as he's on the floor.”

Russell has mostly played point guard this year, to varying results. He has assisted on 28.1 percent of his teammates baskets while on the floor (the highest rate on the team) but he’s also faced a creativity tax, turning the ball over 12.3 percent of the time.

When working without dribbling the air out of the ball as he’s often had to do as one of the few playmakers, Russell has played better, as his shooting percentage improves on shots he holds the ball for less time on.

The latter stat would seem to lend credence to Russell faring well in a role that’s more off the ball, but such usage would also take away the benefits of his playmaking. It’s a conundrum the Lakers will have to solve, but right now it sounds like their main focus is on Russell playing hard no matter what role he’s in:

Will Russell start to play better (and more aggressively) in his new role, or will Walton eventually shift him back to his old one? We’ll just have to wait and see.

All stats per and Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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