Brooklyn Nets: D’Angelo Russell will have to earn a max deal

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Brooklyn Nets, D'Angelo Russell

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 31: D’Angelo Russell #1 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles against Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns during their game at Barclays Center on October 31, 2017 in the Brooklyn Borough of New York City. User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The Brooklyn Nets have until the start of the regular season to come to terms on a rookie-scale extension for point guard  D’Angelo Russell. Is he a candidate for a max deal like his friend Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns?

The Brooklyn Nets could have enough cap space in the summer of 2019 to take on two max contracts. Point guard D’Angelo Russell can also become a restricted free agent in 2019 and will likely be expecting a bigger deal. Is it possible for Russell to land one of those max contracts?

Russell was acquired by Brooklyn last offseason in the trade that sent Brook Lopez to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Since his arrival to the Nets organization, Russell has loved the Brooklyn area, the organization and team’s fan base. Russell promised to not only bring back winning to Brooklyn, but that he wants to remain with the Nets for the rest of his career.

In his first season with Brooklyn, Russell played a total of 48 games averaging 25.7 minutes, 15.5 points and 5.2 assists per game.

The Nets have a couple of options regarding Russell’s future with Brooklyn. According to Michael Scotto of The Athletic, Russell and the Nets have not begun contract talks.

Brooklyn and Russell’s camp have not discussed an extension yet a league source told The Athletic. The 22-year-old guard is owed $7.02 million this upcoming season and is eligible for a $9.16 million qualifying offer and restricted free agency next summer if he doesn’t agree to a rookie scale extension before the start of the regular season in October.

The Nets could have two max contract spots for 2019-20. Is it possible for Russell to be get one of those max contract spots? Well, he would not be the first NBA guard to jump from a rookie deal to a max.

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker recently signed a max contract to stay with Phoenix. In fact, Russell and Booker are good friends and their journey dates back to 2011.

Booker and Russell first met at the Nike Elite 100 Camp in 2011. This would begin a competitive friendship which later carried over to the NBA.

Now that Booker signed his five-year, $158 million extension with the Suns, Russell may use this deal as motivation to snag his own max deal in 2019. Booker commented on his deal and how Russell can use this as motivation.

It’s a life-changing moment for all of us. Obviously, everybody wants to be in that situation to be a max player and it comes at different times for people, so I think D’Angelo, I was with him (Tuesday), he looks at it as motivation, something that he’s going to get towards.

Russell congratulated Booker on his max contract via Twitter.

Now let’s talk about D’Angelo Russell. What does he need to do in order to get a max contract? There is one clear answer to that question. It will depend on how he leads and plays with the Brooklyn Nets next season.

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