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

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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3. Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets surprised the NBA world this past year by winning 42 games en route to the postseason. Guys like Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen stepped up in ways not expected prior to the season, but the root of all the success was Russell’s leap from talented young prospect to All-Star point guard.

Given his potential, it’s possible Russell would’ve broken onto the scene no matter the team he played for, but it’s hard not to give the Nets organization credit where it’s due. They’ve done a phenomenal job at developing all different types of talent, from Russell to LeVert to Allen to even a former benchwarmer in Joe Harris.

The roster may have exceeded expectations last season, but it has the chance to see incredible changes this summer. The Nets have enough room for two max contract slots. Depending on how free agency works out, Russell may be the odd man out … or he’ll be brought back with a legitimate co-star by his side.

Loyalty is a term that gets thrown around a lot in sports, for better or worse. Russell re-signing with Brooklyn wouldn’t necessarily be about rewarding the team that helped revitalize his career. At the end of the day, should Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant decide to join the Nets, the team wouldn’t hesitate to Russell go.

As he continues his progress as a player and eventually enters his prime years, Russell wants to reside on a team he can trust to help further his improvement. Given how well his tenure in Brooklyn has worked out so far, it’s hard not to picture a continuous upwards trajectory with the possibility of an even better team surrounding him in the future.