The 2018-19 season will be a big one for the Brooklyn Nets, with high expectations for the team and certain players. Which 3 players can grab the spotlight?
Heading into the 2018-19 season, the Nets have many players with high expectations and players who are up for new contracts. In addition, the Brooklyn Nets have their eyes set on making huge splashes in 2019.
With $50 million to 70 million potentially available under the cap next summer, Brooklyn need to show signs of winning in order to attract high market free agents such as Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler.
This means the Nets have to step it up and certain players need to prove that they deserve to be in the long-term plan.
These are the three players who can gain national attention next season and help put Brooklyn back on the basketball map.
Russell had a good first year with the Brooklyn Nets, showing great signs of all-star potential. The Nets guard played great in his first 12 games before suffering a knee injury against the Utah Jazz in the closing minutes on Nov. 11.
The Nets guard had arthroscopic knee surgery on Nov. 17 which kept him out for two months. When Russell returned, he lacked explosiveness, but played consistently. Russell did not drive the ball much after his return, which was possibly due to confidence lacking in the repaired knee.
The remainder of the season was strong for Russell. He shot the ball consistently from all areas of the floor and slowly gained back his confidence when it came to driving the ball. He finished the season averaging 25.7 minutes, 15.5 points, 5.2 assists, and 3.9 total rebounds.
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The 2018-19 season will be the biggest season of D’Angelo Russell’s career. He is entering the final year of his rookie deal and has his eyes on a big contract.
Russell has done a fantastic job working out this offseason. He has not only worked on his shooting, but has spent a lot of time in the weight room. The Nets point guard has gained a good amount of muscle, which is huge.
With Russell having more muscle, he can become a better finisher through contact when driving the ball. He was a great driving point guard before his knee injury last season. If Russell can become an elite finisher at the basket, his offensive production will go up.
This will make Russell a harder guard for opposing guards and an unpredictable point guard.
To go along with his offseason workouts, Russell has been challenged to become the main leader of the Brooklyn Nets next season. Shortly after Jared Dudley as traded to the Brooklyn Nets, he told Russell he wants him to become the main leader of the team.
He did a good job commanding Brooklyn’s offense last season but he needs to step up his leadership. That could help secure his future as the Brooklyn Nets long-term point guard.
With Russell up for a new contract if a rookie extension is not reached by opening night in October, Sean Marks will have to make the big decision; is D’Angelo Russell the point guard of the future?
At this moment, Russell is in that conversation and has a good chance of being the point guard of the future. In regards to a new contract, with the Brooklyn Nets having two max contracts in 2019, can Russell land that max deal?
With all this being said, Russell has a huge season ahead of him filled with high expectations. This means Russell will have to play at a career-high level throughout the season. If Russell plays at that level, he has a chance to be in the conversation for an All-Star selection.
Russell is expected to have a breakout season in 2018-19 and if that becomes a reality, the Nets guard will gain national attention.