Brooklyn Nets: 5 takeaways from the 2018-19 NBA season

Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images /
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Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images /

5. D’Angelo Russell deserves the max

D’Angelo Russell had an incredible regular season and headed into restricted free agency, made the best possible case for his future as a franchise point guard in the league. Finishing as a finalist for the Most Improved Player award, Russell put up career numbers almost across the board. Averaging 21.1 points and 7.0 assists a night, he was the first option and focal point for the Nets’ offense.

With a successful contract season now behind him, the former second overall pick will be looking to get paid. The cap space is there, but for the Nets, the concern is that they will have to wait and see whether they have a chance with other star free agents before they can commit.

Thankfully, since D’Angelo is a restricted free agent, they will have time before having to make a decision, even if he does get an offer from another team.

However, as long as it doesn’t jeopardize getting players like Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving, paying Russell is a no-brainer. A max contract for him would start at just north of $27 million, but would be worth it. The first-time All-Star put up 30 or more points 14 times this season and scored at least 20 in over half his games played.

D’Angelo Russell showed signs that he can be the face of this team moving forward, and he deserves to be paid as such.