Chris Szagola/Associated Press
The future of restricted free agent D’Angelo Russell likely hinges on the futures of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. If the pair choose to sign with the Brooklyn Nets, Russell will have a new home next season.
One possibility, according to ESPN.com’s Zach Lowe, is Phoenix:
“The Suns will sign a veteran point guard, and Devin Booker has campaigned for Russell—a close friend. But other voices within the Suns may not share Booker’s unabashed enthusiasm, sources say. They have only about $14 million or so in cap space as of now. We’ll see how Phoenix approaches the point guard market.”
Other possibilities are the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks, though both seem like long shots, per Lowe: “There is at least a kernel of truth to the Lakers’ interest in a reunion, sources say, but L.A. has a lot to sort out. Russell fits the Knicks’ timeline in case they strike out on bigger fish, but all indications are that New York will pursue short-term deals in that scenario, sources say.”
A Lakers reunion would be quite the 180-degree turn. The team traded Russell after he famously lost the trust of the locker room. That said, former team president Magic Johnson would bring him back if he was still with the Lakers, per Bill Oram of The Athletic:
“The very man who deemed Russell unfit for the Lakers would welcome a return.
“‘He’s better now,’ Johnson told The Athletic on Monday night, tapping his right temple with an index finger as he stood in a parking lot outside the NBA Awards at the Santa Monica Airport. ‘He’s a different player. He’s more mature.’”
This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.
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