Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

D’Angelo Russell is entering his most important season yet and the Brooklyn Nets point guard is brimming with confidence.

D’Angelo Russell is flying under the radar, much like the Brooklyn Nets. The former second-overall pick is poised for his best season yet. His first two seasons with the Lakers didn’t go as planned, but he was given a new opportunity in Brooklyn in 2017-18.

Unfortunately, his tenure with the Nets has been riddled with injuries and he wasn’t able to find a rhythm last season. He only appeared in 48 games and he averaged around 25 minutes per game.

But Russell is fully motivated in his contract year, which is never a bad time to have a career year. Mike Scotto of The Athletic spoke with Russell about the upcoming season. The 22-year-old is motivated and happy with where he’s at.

“I’m in the greatest place ever, honestly. Like you said, motivation. I see my best friend sign a max deal. I know where we came from, so that’s plenty motivation that I need. I wake up every morning and go to train, and I feel like I’m in the best shape. I don’t know. The sky is the limit.”

When he refers to his best friend, he’s talking about Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns. Booker recently signed a five-year, $158 million maximum contract extension. Now that Russell sees his buddy Booker cashing in, he’s ready to prove his worth. By the way, Booker went 13th in the 2015 draft.

It’s unlikely that the Nets extend Russell before the season, but he’s not worried about that. DLo is simply looking to stay healthy and finally have that breakout season we’ve been waiting for. The deadline for Russell and the Nets to work out a rookie scale extension is in October, but Russell told Scotto:

“That’s not something I can control, so I just want to play, to be honest. That’s really been my main focus. Staying healthy and finishing the season on a positive note. As a team, there’s a lot that we can really work on. Those have really been outweighing my thoughts on an extension and all of that.”

It sounds like Russell is locked in and it couldn’t come at a better time.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.