2019 NBA free agency: Ranking D’Angelo Russell’s best potential landing spots

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He may be a restricted free agent, but D’Angelo Russell’s recent production has him coveted by a number of different teams.

D’Angelo Russell‘s stock seemed to plummet upon being traded by the Los Angeles Lakers to the Brooklyn Nets in the summer of 2017. Yes, he was just 20 years of age as a recent No. 2 overall pick, but after the Nick Young incident and comments made by Magic Johnson, his career appeared over before it really even got off the ground.

Given how big of a hit his reputation took, it was easy to forget how hyped Russell was coming out of Ohio State. It’s why L.A. decided to pick him so high in the 2015 NBA Draft. After a modest inaugural run in Brooklyn, Russell would spend the entirety of the 2018-19 campaign re-introducing himself to the NBA landscape with the same talent so many had overlooked.

He averaged career-high marks across the board with 21.1 points and 7.0 assists per game while shooting 36.9 percent from beyond the arc. The Nets were expected to improve, but nobody had them pegged for the playoffs. Instead, Russell led them to 42 wins and the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference, being named to his first All-Star Game in the process.

With Russell set to become a free agent, it was a breakout season at the ideal time. Plenty of teams have money to spend and quite a few of them are in need of a floor general. Where things get tricky is in the details of his availability.

Coming off his first pro contract, Russell will only be hitting restricted free agency come June 30. This allows Brooklyn to match any and all offers made to him should it choose to do so. With big free agency plans of its own, however, the Nets may wind up renouncing his rights and allowing him to sign elsewhere if the cards play out in their favor.

Still just 23 years old, D-Lo has yet to even enter his prime years. It’s clear he has the talent to become one of the best at his position and will likely do so no matter where he ends up this summer. Which team — if any, outside Brooklyn — manages to acquire his services will be getting one of the best up-and-comers who can certainly change the long-term outlook of a franchise.