Former No. 2 overall pick D'Angelo Russell managed to establish an impressive performance in the 2018-19 NBA season which greatly helped the Brooklyn Nets earn a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference to end their three-year postseason drought. After averaging 21.1 points, 7.0 assists, and 1.2 steals on 43.4 percent shooting from the field and 36.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc, Russell was also named an All-Star for the first time in his NBA career. However, despite their recent achievements, re-signing Russell, who is set to become a restricted free agent, doesn't seem to be the Nets' No. 1 priority in the 2019 NBA offseason.
Heading into the 2019 NBA free agency with enough salary cap space for two max contracts, the Nets are planning to test their luck on top-tier free agents like Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, and Jimmy Butler before bringing D'Angelo Russell back. Once Russell grows tired of waiting for the Nets to make an offer, he is expected to start entertaining offers from other NBA teams. According to Jason Patt of Forbes, one of the NBA teams who could try to steal Russell from the Nets is the Chicago Bulls.
As of now, the Bulls have Kris Dunn as their starting point guard. Since acquiring him from the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Jimmy Butler deal, the Bulls thought that Dunn could be their point guard of the future. However, his inconsistent performance in the past two seasons made them realize that Dunn is not the floor general that could bring them back to title contention.
As Patt noted, D'Angelo Russell is a "clear upgrade" over the Bulls' current starting point guard Kris Dunn. With his ability to efficiently play on and off the ball, Russell could form an explosive backcourt duo with Zach LaVine in Chicago.
"A Russell-LaVine backcourt would be dynamic offensively, with both players able to play on and off the ball effectively. They would be able to score in bunches and rain fire from long distance. Russell is already a terrific playmaker, while LaVine is getting better in that area. Having a pair of shooters and playmakers together in the backcourt would make the Bulls' offense dangerous, especially when rounding out the lineup with Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter Jr. and Wendell Carter Jr."Signing D'Angelo Russell won't make the Bulls an instant title contender in the Eastern Conference, but having a point guard of his caliber will undeniably make them a better team in the 2019-20 NBA season. However, to bring him to Chicago, the Bulls must be ready to offer him a maximum contract in the 2019 NBA free agency.