D’Angelo Russell (NBA 2K19 Player Rating 83)
The NBA universe was taken by storm when the Brooklyn Nets acquired D’Angelo Russell via trade with the Los Angeles Lakers last offseason. The Nets traded long-time big man Brook Lopez and the 27th overall pick for Russell and Timofey Mozgov. The trade benefited both teams.
The Nets got a potential face of the franchise player and a solid center while the Lakers freed up needed cap space and gain a late first-round pick. The 27th pick would become rookie sensation Kyle Kuzma, who had a great rookie season with Los Angeles this past season.
Lake Show Life
When Russell came to Brooklyn, he had multiple chips on his shoulder, from proving he was not a bust to being the main man on the Nets. The move to Brooklyn was a great move for Russell in that point in his short NBA career.
Russell got every chance to prove he was worthy of being drafted second overall and with less pressure on him due to the Nets playoff chances.
The 2017-18 season was a good season for Russell. He started off strong with the Nets and in his first game, he went off to score 30 points. When everything was working great for Russell and the Nets, the point guard went down with a knee injury in the closing minutes against the Utah Jazz.
Russell would undergo arthroscopic knee surgery and be sidelined two months.
When Russell returned to the court, he still shot the ball at a high level, but his aggressive driving game faded away. He did not drive the ball often likely due to the level of confidence in his knee. For the remainder of the season, Russell began to gain more confidence as the season went on.
On the offensive end of the floor, he is a dangerous 3-point shooter. Russell shot the 3 ball at 32.4 percent last season, attempting 5.8 shots behind the arc a game. He shoots the 3 ball best off catch-and-shoot plays.
Russell was one of Brooklyn’s go to 3-point shooters last season as well.
Russell also has a strong mid-range game. He shoots top of the key shots off the dribble at a consistent level and can really drive the ball at a high level. When driving, Russell find the holes in the defense and uses his size to get to the basket.
The defensive end of the floor for Russell is not as strong as the offensive end. He is a good defender who has a good basketball IQ. Russell does a good job stealing the ball and turning the steals into transition points.
Based on his play with the Brooklyn Nets last season and other 83 rated point guards, Russell has an accurate rating. Russell is rated 12th on the NBA 2K19 point guard list. Next to him in the rankings are Goran Dragic at 82 and Kyle Lowry at 84.
Russell has a great chance raising his rating to an 84 next season. He has huge expectations heading into the 2018-19 season. Not only will he have to raise his stats but he will have to become the main leader of the Brooklyn Nets.
His teammates acknowledge Russell as the best fit for the main leader role.
The 2018-19 season can possibly be a make or break season for Russell regarding his Nets future.
With the Nets projected to have between $50 million and $70 million in cap space for the 2019 offseason, which translates to two max contracts, they have the ability to chase a new point guard if they do not have confidence in Russell.
Now, Russell would become a restricted free agent if Brooklyn does not reach a rookie extension by the opening of the season in October. With Russell being a restricted free agent, Brooklyn have the ability to match any deal Russell signs with another team.
With all that said, the 2018-19 season will be the biggest season of Russell’s career. With Russell having that in mind, he has been working hard this offseason building his body and improving his game.
It will be interesting to see how Russell plays next season and what will happen in the 2019 offseason.