The Nets are considered the favorites to land the Celtics’ point guard, though there’s no indication that other potential suitors have been ruled out, Begley continues.
The Nets can open up as much as $66MM of cap space to sign two major free agents if they renounce Russell’s rights. They can make him a restricted free agent by extending a $9.16MM qualifying offer but renouncing him would clear his $21MM cap hold.
The Pacers, who are shopping for a point guard, are keenly interested in Russell, Begley adds. The Magic, Timberwolves and Jazz are also expected to pursue him in free agency.
Begley’s story contradicts a previous report that suggested the Nets were willing to pair up Russell and Irving as their starting backcourt.