D’Angelo Russell Rumors: Extension Talks, Heat, Lowry, Suns

Prior to a blockbuster trade to acquire Rudy Gobert in the offseason, the Timberwolves explored the possibility of acquiring Dejounte Murray instead, sources tell Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

According to Fischer, extension talks between the Wolves and guard D’Angelo Russell went nowhere in the offseason, and there’s a belief among rival teams that Minnesota is open to moving him. It’s unclear if those extension talks came before or after the team’s interest in Murray, but clearly there was a difference of opinion on value.

A couple weeks ago, Brian Windhorst of ESPN floated a hypothetical on his Hoop Collective podcast wondering if the Wolves would consider calling the Heat about Kyle Lowry in exchange for Russell’s $31.4MM expiring contract. Lowry has one more year on his deal at $29.7MM, and Windhorst thought Miami might be open to moving him due to future luxury tax concerns, though he admitted he wasn’t sure how the Heat would view Russell’s fit.

A couple days later, Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype wrote about Russell’s situation and explored the idea of Russell-Lowry swap. Russell unfollowed the Wolves on social media the same day, which raised some eyebrows.

Yeah, it’s my life,” the Russell told Fischer of paying attention to rumors. “That’s it. Just be conscious of it.”

While neither of those instances were actual rumors, Fischer hears from sources that the Heat have actually shown interest in Russell, but says a “direct deal for Lowry would appear unlikely.” Fischer suggests the Wolves might be hesitant to acquire Lowry due to his contract and the possibility of having to extend him or risk losing him for nothing, much like their current situation with Russell.

Fischer writes that there isn’t much of a market for lead guards with large salaries, but rival executives are watching the Clippers and Suns as teams looking for backcourt upgrades. The Suns were linked to Russell a handful of years ago, and he’s close with star Devin Booker, per Fischer.

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