Nets announce D’Angelo Russell is recovering from knee surgery

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 07: D'Angelo Russell
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 07: D'Angelo Russell /

The Brooklyn Nets added some interesting young pieces this summer and were looking to build momentum. A knee surgery for D’Angelo Russell puts a kink in those plans.

The Nets’ have been rebuilding with one hand tied behind their back. A slew of their own draft picks, the essential element of any good rebuilding effort, were the property of the Boston Celtics. In the hunt for a transformational star, Brooklyn had to look elsewhere. This summer found a workaround, landing D’Angelo Russell — a player who absolutely has that kind of potential — from the Los Angeles Lakers for Brook Lopez.

Russell has struggled through his first two seasons in Los Angeles, especially as a rookie when he inexplicably spent most of the season in Byron Scott’s dog house. He has looked very good in Brooklyn so far this season, even assuming a larger load than expected after Jeremy Lin went down with a season-ending knee injury on opening night.

Now a chunk of Russell’s season, and the Nets’ slim hopes of chasing a playoff spot, seem to be in doubt. The Nets announced today that Russell had arthroscopic knee surgery and there is no timetable for his return.

The Nets specifically refused to discuss a timeline and this is theoretically a relatively minor procedure. Still, it will likely keep Russell off the court for at least a few weeks. The Nets are currently 5-9 on the season, getting outscored by an average of 4.0 points per 100 possessions. Russell was leading the time in scoring and assists, averaging 20.9 points, 5.7 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game.

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With Russell out, players like Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris may see increased minutes and Isaiah Whitehead and Sean Kilpatrick could be re-inserted into a rotation that they have largely fallen out of.