Brooklyn Nets guard D’Angelo Russell is set to become a restricted free agent this offseason — however he doesn’t want to leave New York anytime soon.
The 23-year-old, who helped lead the Nets to their first playoff berth since 2015 this spring, said on Wednesday that he would gladly re-sign with Brooklyn this summer if he had it his way.
"I definitely want to be here,” Russell said, via ESPN. “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."
Russell averaged 21.1 points, seven assists and 3.9 rebounds this season, his fourth in the league. The Nets — who were eliminated from the playoffs by the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday — won 42 games this season, too, the most since the 2013-14 season.
Russell, who was acquired by the Nets in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017, will see his rookie deal expire this summer and will become a restricted free agent. The Nets will have the option to match any offer that a team makes on him this summer.
While Russell got his NBA start with the Lakers, that organization looks very different now then when it did after he was drafted in 2015. Brooklyn is now his home, and that’s where he feels the most comfortable.
Hopefully, he said, that will help him to be able to stay in Brooklyn in the future.
“I don't know any other teams, I don't know any other GMs or coaches,” Russell said, via ESPN. “I don't know any of those people. I know where I'm at. So it definitely gives you that advantage."
And for what it’s worth, his teammates have taken a liking to him, too.
"We've obviously built a great chemistry together playing together the last couple of years, and I feel like it's only going to get better growing in the future," Nets forward Caris LeVert said, via ESPN. "Whatever they decide to do, I'll obviously support it, but I'd love to play with D'Angelo."
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