Any other summer, Brooklyn Nets’ guard D’Angelo Russell would be among the biggest stars in NBA free agency. But this year will see several superstars becoming free agents, including Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Kyrie Irving, which complicates things for Russell and narrows his list of potential suitors. This is why the 23-year-old All-Star has decided to be patient during free agency and wait for the best opportunity to come up.
“It’s more of just the waiting game as far as chess moves have to be made,” – Russell told Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “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,” – he added. “So whenever that time comes then I have decisions to make on my own, I think I’ll be well ready for it.”
After struggling during his first three years in the NBA, D’Angelo Russell managed to find his footing this season and emerge as an All-Star caliber player. He led the Brooklyn Nets to the team’s first playoff appearance since 2014–15 and averaged 21.1 points, 7.0 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game.
Although Russell established himself as the Nets’ leader, he will not be offered a new contract if Brooklyn manages to land their two primary targets in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. In case that team misses on Durant and get Irving, Nets would then most likely keep Russell around.
“If we’re being completely honest, I enjoyed the team that we had this whole season,” – Russell shared his opinion about being paired with Irving. “If the situation was to come up to have pieces of his caliber around, it’ll make us a better team obviously. But I’m not going to say I didn’t enjoy our team, and the pieces we had around.”
If Nets decided to pass on Russell, there will still be interest in him around the league. The list of teams reportedly interested in him includes Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Indiana Pacers.