D’Angelo Russell’s breakout season comes with some drawbacks for the Brooklyn Nets. For one, he’ll be a high-priced free agent this summer.
D’Angelo Russell is one of the best stories of the NBA season. After leaving the Los Angeles Lakers with his tail tucked between his legs, he’s found new life with the Brooklyn Nets.
Now that Russell is an All-Star, his restricted free agency looms large. His superb play means he’ll fetch a high price this summer.
“I think D’Angelo is worth around $20 million (annually),” one long-time Eastern Conference executive told Mike Scotto of The Athletic. “Is this payback time for the Nets? Will teams offer him the way they (Nets) did for Crabbe, Porter, and Johnson? I think he turned the corner. I think he has a chip on his shoulder.”
General manager Sean Marks made a habit of extending offer sheets that put other teams in a position to overpay. It’s possible that a team like the Phoenix Suns or the Indiana Pacers does the same to Brooklyn. Both teams could use an All-Star point guard on the roster.
That being said, it’s possible that Russell wants to remain in the spot where his career took off. We’ve seen Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris sign team-friendly deals to solidify their long-term future with the Nets.
Of course, Russell is a higher-caliber player and he’s looking to cash in on his outstanding season. But the Nets will certainly be interested in keeping Russell, whatever the cost may be.
It will be interesting to see how the offseason unfolds. For the time being, Russell and the Nets are laser-focused on qualifying for the playoffs and making some noise against whoever they match up with.