Russell topped the team in scoring and assists after prolonged injuries to Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie, becoming an All-Star and helping lead Brooklyn to its first playoff appearance in four years.
But despite that growth, the Minnesota Timberwolves guard isn't giving credit to former Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson.
"I'm not going to give it to Kenny," he told The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski. "I still don't think he knew what he had, honestly. I don't think he knew what I was capable of in the fourth quarter."
Russell became expendable when the Nets landed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving last summer. He was packaged to the Golden State Warriors in a sign-and-trade deal for Durant, then dealt to the Timberwolves at this February's trade deadline.
Atkinson parted ways with the Nets in March amid rumors of discord with Irving.
After a nomadic start to his NBA career, playing for four teams in five years, Russell seems happy in Minnesota alongside close friend Karl-Anthony Towns.
"I'm like, OK," he said. "This is where I’m supposed to be."