Reports: Nets give Russell qualifying offer, make him RFA

FILE PHOTO – Mar 30, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D’Angelo Russell (1) celebrates after hitting a three pointer against the Boston Celtics in the third quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports – 12447063

While there is no shortage of speculation when it comes to the Brooklyn Nets’ plans regarding the point guard position moving forward, one thing is now certain.

The team will have the final say on whether D’Angelo Russell remains in Brooklyn or goes to a new team.

As expected, the team extended a qualifying offer to Russell on Friday, multiple outlets reported. The move makes Russell a restricted free agent and gives the Nets the chance to match any offer Russell receives from another team. Without the offer, Russell would have become an unrestricted free agent when free agency begins Sunday.

Russell, 23, was a first-time All-Star last season, his fourth in the NBA.

He averaged 21.1 points and seven assists, both career highs. He also set career highs in games (81), average minutes (30.2), field-goal shooting (43.4 percent) and 3-point shooting (36.9 percent).

Russell was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the No. 2 overall pick in 2015. The Lakers sent him to Brooklyn in June 2017 in a trade that landed the Lakers Kyle Kuzma and assured Lonzo Ball would be the Lakers’ starting point guard.

With Ball now in New Orleans as part of the Anthony Davis trade, and with the Nets reportedly interested in signing free agent Kyrie Irving, numerous reports peg the Lakers as a likely landing spot for Russell should he leave the Nets.

For his career, Russell is averaging 16.5 points, 5.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds in 272 games (224 starts).

—Field Level Media

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