D’Angelo Russell has said he definitely wants to return to the Nets, but that’s not going to prevent other NBA teams from pursuing him.
There are at least five looking at Russell in free agency, according to The Athletic: The Jazz, Pacers, Timberwolves and Magic all have interest in picking up Russell.
The Nets obviously want to bring him back as well.
Russell is coming off of a career year with the Nets in which he made his first All-Star team and averaged 21.1 points, 7.0 assists and 3.9 rebounds.
His performance helped lead the Nets back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2014-15 season.
They lost to the 76ers in five games, but the team’s improvement this season and Russell’s success under coach Kenny Atkinson certainly has Brooklyn on Russell’s shortlist of potential landing spots.
“I definitely want to be here,” Russell said, via the New York Daily News. “But I also know it’s a business, too. So I’m not going to play that role like I don’t know what could possibly happen. Say somebody comes here that I have to be a part of (a transaction to acquire them), I know that could be a possibility.
“So, I just want to stay in this moment and not speak too soon about anything.”
As for other teams’ interest, the Magic could soon lose Terrence Ross, the Pacers have to think about not having Victor Oladipo after an injury ended his 2018-19 season, the Jazz may not re-sign Ricky Rubio and the Timberwolves have been looking for a point guard for seemingly the last decade.
All of those teams could use him, and the Nets will have to fight off some suitors if they hope to retain the 2015 No. 2 overall pick.