Kyrie Irving's departure from Boston has opened the door for Kemba Walker to leave Charlotte and take his place. Now, an agreement between Irving and Brooklyn could make the current Nets Point Guard D'Angelo Russell one of the most sought-after free agents on the board.
Saturday at 15:00. PT was the first moment teams were able to formally arrange meetings with free agents. Which meant that on Saturday at 15:00 PT, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, triggered manipulation for a month. In addition to a surprising meeting between Jimmy Butler and the Heat and a word from Derrick Rose was probably heading for the Pistons the big news at the opening bell was on Saturday, that Irving and the networks were motivated to "move " on a four-year maximum contract. In other words, Irving to the Nets is basically a self-contained thing.
Irving's move to Brooklyn has been forecast for weeks. The All-Star Guard was sighted this summer in and around New York, and Consensus Scuttlebutt has barely deviated from that result in the last month or two. But now that it's anything but an attempt, the drastic changes to the reality of the nets are taking shape. Last year, around this time, the nets were still in a waiting pattern. They had scored less than 30 wins for the third year in a row, and although some of their young players had begun to perform well, they had to make one final top 10 tip (to the Cavs via the Celtics) and no longer had to borrow their upper limit space to collect assets. Now they have Irving, a 27-year-old six-time All-Star. Those who get the nets to fill in the second maximum slot they've created in six years by negotiating the first-place finisher they've been in control of are still open, and the amount of stories already about Irving's orbiting Celtics Begin betraying you wonder if the good on the court outweighs the bizarre and the opposite of it. The mere landing of a player of Irving's caliber and profile is a clear sign that the franchise, once considered the NBA's mockery, has been officially aired.
But to get rid of their old skin, the nets almost certainly have to say goodbye to their only All-Star in the last five years. In the midst of his Irving report, Wojnarowski also wrote that the networks "have no intention of bringing Russell back to the list with Irving" and that they renounce their rights to the Limited Free Agents Guard, thus turning him into an unrestricted free agent could. It will be interesting here.
Russell has his shortcomings. Although he scored an average of 21.1 points and seven assists in 81 games last season, he had the second-lowest real shooting percentage among the 11 players with over 30 (a.k.a., the ball dominant player in the NBA). He is also error prone. Through his unpredictable play, important possessions feel like you're driving in a car that's held together with tape. In the playoffs, Caris LeVert proved to be the more stable hand and the best player in the team. While Russell was indeed an All-Star, it's important to put up a star – he was a substitute for injuries in talent-poor East.
On the other hand, he can do the following:
If Russell is active, he is one of the best players in the league. Many players can ward off unlikely moves in the heat of the game, but Russell has the uncanny ability to put together several of these moves, just as a world-class fighter can put together seven-stroke combinations. Sure, he often forces things because he thinks he can do any game at any time. But that's because he can usually play at any time. And although he has played more melodrama in four seasons than most professionals who were not yet LeBron teammates, he is still 23 years old. The pedigree, to be a top-2 choice, is still in her career at this point not available. For that reason, his possible entry into full agency could dramatically change the balance of power in the NBA.
The Timberwolves are the most fascinating option. Karl-Anthony Towns enters his fifth season free of a kamikaze teammate and with a new understanding of his amazing powers. In 20 games after the All-Star break, the 23-year-old collected 28.1 points, 13.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists with a 53.3 / 42.9 / 81-line fire. this is MVP level stuff. The problem was that the players were working on him. Andrew Wiggins got into a black hole (greet Ozzie from us, Drew), Jeff Teague plays the string and Robert Covington got injured. Throw Russell's pick-and-roll slaloming and deep 3-point points into the mix, along with a few sweeping, physical wings like Covington, Josh Okogie and no. 5 Choose Jarrett Culver and suddenly the wolves look like a team that could be among the top four in an open vale. The team seems open to the idea; Yahoo Sports reported the previous Saturday that Minnesota had met with Russell even though he did not have much space to sign it, and Towns cried into a microphone to play with his friend D'Angelo want.
The nuclear option is the Lakers. After making a last-minute deal to open a Max slot (or near for players with seven to nine years of service), Los Angeles' glamor franchise swings for the Fences. Kawhi Leonard is interested again and will speak with a Lakers contingent – and / or Magic Johnson? Who the hell knows that? In the next days. But if they can not get the best available free agent, why not draw attention to their best current draft pick? Magic, in his brief but memorable term as team president, has broken Russell two years ago to clear the way for Lonzo Ball and drop Timofey Mozgov's contract. To be fair, Russell also needed a change. But with Magic and every single player away from Russell's final stint in LA and the team needing a threat from outside to play two sizes in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Russell's return makes a lot of sense. James seemed to be impressed by how fearless Russell was in March when the young Nets Guard eliminated the Lakers from the playoffs. Imagine what he could do on James's side.
The Clippers may turn to Russell if Leonard and some of the other elite veteran agents look elsewhere. The Knicks could try to save their face by turning a rounding error of the nets into a treasure. A mysterious team – the pelicans? – could get involved. It's all in the game. Irving's swift decision gave Brooklyn a clear and stable path after years of prioritizing long-term flexibility over a competitive team, but it also created more chaos in the numbers, which in recent history are considered the wildest off-season events ,