D’Angelo Russell established an incredible performance in his second season of playing for the Brooklyn Nets, earning his first NBA All-Selection after averaging 21.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.2 steals on 43.4 percent shooting from the field and 36.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc. His breakout season came in perfect time as he is set to hit the free agency market next July.
D’Angelo Russell is expected to receive plenty of interest when he officially becomes a free agent, but he’s well aware that most NBA teams, including the Nets, will be prioritizing the “big fish” on the market. In an interview with Brian Lewis of the New York Post, Russell expressed his willingness to play the waiting game in the 2019 NBA free agency and said that he will make sure that he’s prepared when it is already time for him to make the decision.
“It’s more of just the waiting game as far as chess moves have to be made,” Russell said, as quoted by SB Nation’s Nets Daily.
“There’s a lot of big fish out there that have to find their destinations so I think I’ll [fall in line after that]. There are a lot of fish out there that need to find destinations. So whenever that time comes then I have decisions to make on my own, I think I’ll be well ready for it.”
D’Angelo Russell discussed the possibility of the Nets signing Kyrie Irving. https://t.co/t2XX5STdyt
— USA TODAY NBA (@usatodaynba) June 4, 2019
D’Angelo Russell may be the best player in Brooklyn in the 2018-19 NBA season, but he won’t be the Nets’ No. 1 priority in the 2019 NBA free agency. Before re-signing Russell, the Nets are expected to try their luck in signing top-tier free agents like Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics, Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors, Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors, and Jimmy Butler of the Philadelphia 76ers. Though Russell said that he’s willing to play the waiting game, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he won’t be entertaining offers from other NBA teams.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, as quoted by Uproxx, four NBA teams are planning to make a strong push to steal D’Angelo Russell from the Nets in the 2019 NBA free agency. These include the Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Indiana Pacers.
“A market is forming for Nets All-Star and restricted free agent D’Angelo Russell: Utah, Orlando, Minnesota, and Indiana are among the teams expected to show an interest aside from Brooklyn, sources said.”
All those four NBA teams will undeniably be intriguing free agency destinations for D’Angelo Russell as they can assure him a significant role and a huge payday. The Jazz, Magic, and the Pacers have suffered a first-round exit in the recent playoffs, and adding a player of Russell’s caliber will undoubtedly strengthen their chance of reaching a higher level in the 2019-20 NBA season. The Timberwolves may have failed to reach the postseason, but pairing Karl-Anthony Towns with Russell will make Minnesota a team to watch out in the deep Western Conference.