There’s mutual interest between Kyrie Irving and the Nets but that doesn’t mean Brooklyn won’t re-sign restricted free agent D’Angelo Russell, according to Anthony Puccio of SNY.TV. Irving and his camp will strongly consider Brooklyn if he doesn’t re-sign with the Celtics, Puccio hears.
Irving’s people have kept close tabs on the Nets organization, noting its improvement on and off the court. While signing a free agent of Irving’s stature would seemingly lead to Russell’s exit, the Nets are open to pairing Irving and Russell in the backcourt.
The Nets don’t want to lose Russell, 23, after he emerged this season as a candidate for the Most Improved Player award.
While having two point guards in the backcourt could make it difficult for Irving and Russell to co-exist, GM Sean Marks isn’t averse to accumulating the best possible talent and letting head coach Kenny Atkinson figure out how to make it work, Puccio notes.
It’s also worth pointing out that the two guards are on good terms and shared the same high school coach, Kevin Boyle.
The Nets are positioned to bring in at least one top-level free agent. They could have up to $50.5MM in cap space but Russell’s $21MM cap hold significantly impacts that figure.