Why D'Angelo Russell To The Phoenix Suns Makes Sense

Monday, May 20, 2019 7:35 PM UTC

Monday, May. 20, 2019 7:35 PM UTC

It's no secret that the Phoenix Suns need a point guard and D'Angelo Russell will enter free agency after playing the best basketball of his career last season.
<div><p>D'Angelo Russell helped the Brooklyn Nets make the NBA Playoffs for the first time in four years (they were at +300 to make the playoffs at 5Dimes) and he made the <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/nba/" target="_blank">NBA</a> All-Star Game. The Nets could build around him but they will be an attractive free agent destination in the summer and big names like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris might at least consider signing with them, complicating Russell's future in Brooklyn.</p><p><a href="https://www.5dimes.eu/index.asp?AffId=5d1782798" target="_blank">5Dimes</a> set Brooklyn's season win total at 32 and Russell helped them finish 42-40 to surpass that number with ease. If the Nets don't land a star in free agency, he should definitely return next season but if they get one of the top players available, it could be the end for Russell with the Nets because he could go for a deal at a starting value of $20 million.</p><p>When asked about Russell's future, what Nets General Manager Sean Marks commented was clear:</p><p><em>"He's obviously one of our more talented players.' 'You (reporter) said that we'll have decisions. D'Angelo is going to have decisions, too. That is a little bit of the nature of this business. But at the end of the day, our job is to continue to put talent on the floor for Brooklyn.'"</em></p><p> </p><h2>The Suns as a Potential Landing Spot</h2><p>D’Angelo Russell averaged 21.1 points, 7.0 assists and 3.9 rebounds in 30.2 minutes over 81 games last season, shooting 43.4 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from 3-point range and many teams are after help at point guard, so he could definitely get a big contract next season.</p><div>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;D’Angelo Russell in comeback win vs Kings:&lt;br /&gt;➖➖➖&lt;br /&gt;• 44 points (27 in the 4th)&lt;br /&gt;• 4 rebounds &lt;br /&gt;• 12 assists &lt;br /&gt;• 4 steals &lt;br /&gt;• 6 threes&lt;br /&gt;• 17/33 FG&lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/MagicJohnson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;@MagicJohnson&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/TakeNote?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#TakeNote&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/WeGoHard?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#WeGoHard&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/3BpklPeLLL\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/3BpklPeLLL&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Sports Notes🎙 (@TheSportsNotes) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/TheSportsNotes/status/1108224235338530817?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;March 20, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</div><p>Russell, a finalist for the NBA's Most Improved Player Award, played like an All-Star all season long and the talented point guard can still get better.</p><p>The Suns are an interesting fit for Russell but they would have to open up enough cap space. D'Angelo Russell and Devin Booker would make a deadly backcourt, both are terrific scorers who are not afraid to take shots under pressure and they could play off each other.</p><p>Russell and Booker would make the Suns better and they already have a strong friendship off the court. The young stars first met as teenagers at the Nike Elite 100 camp in St. Louis when they were in high school and they've been close friends since then.</p><p>Russell posted a photo of Devin Booker donning his All-Star jersey a few months ago and he said the following about playing with Booker at the team's end-of-year presser:</p><div>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;D'Angelo Russell was asked if there's any link to Phoenix due to &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/DevinBook?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;@DevinBook&lt;/a&gt;:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;\"I’m linked to them because of him? S--- I didn’t know that. That’s my brother right there. So even if there’s no link to it or w/e we’re still going to be best friends... It’s bigger than basketball.\"&lt;/p&gt;— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/APOOCH/status/1121124951581437954?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;April 24, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</div><p>Booker has also been asked about the prospect of playing with his close friend and he told Newsday:</p><p><em>"I would love to play with him. He makes people around him better. He's a dynamic player. He has the utmost confidence in himself that I don't think will change ever. That's why we have the relationship that we do."</em></p><p> </p><h2>How to Make It Work</h2><p>It's highly unlikely that Ja Morant could fall to the Suns in the 6th spot in the 2019 NBA Draft so they will still need a point guard and even though making it happen seems hard, they should at least consider the possibility of signing Russell.</p><p>The Suns would have to remove the cap holds for their six free agents, Kelly Oubre, Dragan Bender, Richaun Holmes, Troy Daniels, Jamal Crawford and Tyler Johnson and let each walk.</p><p>Doing that would just open up around $16.7 million in cap room and Russell could make at least $20 million a year on the open market, so obviously this pairing is also up to him.</p><p>If the Suns trade someone like T.J. Warren the path to go after Russell would be clear but they would be sacrificing a lot of talent just to get one player.</p><p>The Grizzlies seem locked in on taking Ja Morant with the No. 2 pick so moving up to that spot is not an option for the Suns and adding D'Angelo Russell should at least be considered, as long as the price is right.</p></div>
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