Russell, T-wolves 'feel the love' in star pairing with Towns

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New Minnesota Timberwolves NBA basketball player D'Angelo Russell, left, chats with Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns after Russell was introduced at a news conference, Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, in Minneapolis, following a trade that sent Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins to the Golden State Warriors. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Not yet finished with his fifth NBA season, D'Angelo Russell has landed with his fourth team.

Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves sure don't want him to leave.

“It’s surreal to really think that instead of us just talking on the phone or playing video games with each other and talking about how our teams are doing and everything, but now we’re getting to do this every day with each other,” Towns said.

Russell was introduced at an open-to-the-public news conference Friday along with six other players acquired during the trading spree this week.

“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. “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.”

President of basketball operations Gersson Rosas was hired May 1. He was asked Friday when he was certain the roster needed an overhaul to fit the fast-paced, 3-point-heavy playing style he's been trying to implement with coach Ryan Saunders.

“May 1st,” Rosas said.

His first attempt to pair the smooth-shooting Russell as a pick-and-roll machine with the versatile 6-foot-11 Towns came last summer when Russell was a restricted free agent. Russell instead went from Brooklyn to Golden State in a sign-and-trade deal, but Rosas and the Timberwolves didn't give up on the goal.