NBA Free Agency Rumors: D’Angelo Russell ‘Top Priority’ For Timberwolves Amid Lakers’ Continued Interest
Nba Free Agency Rumors: D’angelo Russell ‘top Priority’ For Timberwolves Amid Lakers’ Continued Interest
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

With 2019 NBA free agency officially underway via meetings between players and teams and reported contract offers on the horizon, the Los Angeles Lakers appear to have the bulk of their attention on Kawhi Leonard.

If they are unsuccessful in signing the two-time Finals MVP, it’s believed the Lakers would attempt to pivot to Kyrie Irving. Should the Lakers fail to sign either Leonard or Irving, they may elect to break up their salary cap space amongst multiple players.

In that event, D’Angelo Russell has been among those linked to the Lakers. While Los Angeles has reported interest in a reunion, it doesn’t appear it would come by way of a max-contract offer.

Russell could potentially receive that from the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are focused on signing the 23-year-old, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times:

Russell averaged 21.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 7.0 assists in his first All-Star season. He set career highs in points per game and assists, and tied his best mark for assists.

Although the Nets extended a qualifying offer to Russell to make him a restricted free agent, his future may very well be tied to Irving’s. Brooklyn’s reported interest in Irving and a potential second max free agent has been one of the league’s worst-kept secrets.

As Kevin Durant is announcing his decision tonight, the Nets are trying to sign DeAndre Jordan to lure him away from the Golden State Warriors, according to Stein:

While the Nets have salary cap space to sign Irving outright, they would need to renounce the rights to Russell, making him an unrestricted free agent, in order to pair him with Kevin Durant or another All-Star player.

In any event, Russell could very well be on his way out even if the Nets are only to sign Irving as they may be pursuing a sign-and-trade with the Boston Celtics and Charlotte Hornets.

From the Lakers’ perspective, they presumably are unlikely to possibly present Russell with a contract offer until Irving, Leonard and perhaps Jimmy Butler have made their respective decisions.

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