Re-signing point guard D’Angelo Russell will be the top priority for the Nets this summer, writes Michael Scotto of The Athletic. After making several recent runs at restricted free agents such as Tyler Johnson, Allen Crabbe and Otto Porter, Brooklyn will be on defense this year, hoping Russell doesn’t receive an offer that’s too outrageous to match.
The Nets would like to have enough cap flexibility to offer two max contracts and will be handcuffed if Russell receives a substantial offer shortly after free agency begins on July 1, Scotto notes. Brooklyn will have just two days after the moratorium to decide to match, which could tie up money the organization is hoping to use elsewhere.
Scotto considers the Pacers to be a threat to make a move on Russell, with Darren Collison and Cory Joseph both headed toward free agency. That leaves rookie Aaron Holiday as the only other point guard on the roster, and Scotto says Indiana may like the idea of teaming up Russell with Victor Oladipo. Still, he believes the Nets will match any offer unless they find themselves in position to add two elite free agents.
There’s more today from New York City:
- Scotto lists Brooklyn’s other offseason priorities as trading Crabbe’s $18.5MM salary to open cap space, adding a veteran center to back up Jarrett Allen and finding another stretch four. Scotto notes that the Hawks, Bulls, Mavericks, Pacers, Suns and Kings all have enough cap room to add Crabbe, and the Nets will consider using the stretch provision if they can’t find a taker. Free agents Robin Lopez, Aron Baynes, Boban Marjanovic, Zaza Pachulia, Tyson Chandler and Kyle O’Quinn are possibilities as reserve centers, while Nikola Mirotic, Anthony Tolliver, Mike Scott and Omri Casspi are free agents forwards with 3-point range.
- The Knicks will prioritize talent over position in the draft, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. Team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry discuss the process in a new “MSG 150” TV show that will air tonight and tomorrow. “Where we are at right now, talent is important,” Perry said. “If it’s very close, then you may lean towards the position of need, but if there is a clear delineation between the talent, I think you always err on the side of talent.”
- Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic examines all the free agents that the Knicks might consider this summer. Kevin Durant tops the list, of course, but Vorkunov rates plenty of others, including role players who could be useful if New York gets the stars it wants.