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#pounditSaturday, September 18, 2021

Report: Restricted free agent D’Angelo Russell expected to have strong market

The Brooklyn Nets will ultimately get to decide whether or not D’Angelo Russell remains on their roster next season, but there may be plenty of teams that are willing to drive up the price on the All-Star point guard after his big year.

Russell will be a restricted free agent this summer, so the Nets can match any offer sheet he signs with another team. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, a “market is forming” for Russell and several teams — including the Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timberwolves and Indiana Pacers — are expected to have interest in signing him.

That isn’t exactly a surprise, as Russell is coming off a breakout season in which he averaged 21.1 points and 7.0 assists per game. The former No. 2 overall pick is still just 23, so he may just now be starting to fulfill his potential.

The amount of interest in Russell will simply make him more expensive for Brooklyn, and he is eligible for a maximum salary of $27 million next season. It would not be a surprise if a team that needs a point guard offered him that, at which point the Nets would have a big decision to make.

There has been talk that the Nets are interested in pairing Russell with another star free agent guard, but it will be interesting to see how much they are willing to pay to make that happen.

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