2. DLo at a low ebb offensively
D’Angelo Russell’s first game since the Brooklyn Nets agreed to a contract extension with the team’s other point guard, Spencer Dinwiddie, was a forgettable one.
Yes, Russell had a team-high nine assists. But (and you knew there was a but coming), Russell also scored just eight points on 3-of-12 shooting, made just 1-of-5 3-pointers and had five of Brooklyn’s 10 turnovers.
Russell is averaging 9.7 points and 9.0 assists in his last three games on 12-of-36 shooting and for the second straight game was a spectator down the stretch as Dinwiddie ran the offense to close out the game.
It’s particularly bad timing for Russell to go into one of his shooting funks, considering Dinwiddie is averaging 30.3 points and shooting 29-for-50 (58 percent) over that same period.
Russell’s inconsistency has been an issue even as he’s putting up career numbers this season, averaging 17.5 points and 6.0 assists in 29.0 minutes per game in 30 starts.
But his shooting is at 41.2 percent overall and 35.9 percent from 3-point range on team-high totals of 16.6 shots and 6.6 3-point attempts per night.
It’s hard not to think that Russell’s days with the Nets could be numbered after the front office committed to Dinwiddie to the tune of three years and $34 million, but for the right price, Russell could remain with Brooklyn.
The problem is that Brooklyn has no ability to set that price now, because Russell will be a restricted free agent entering into a market where point guards could be at a premium.
That, in turn, could lead a team needing a point guard to pull the same maneuver Nets general manager Sean Marks employed in 2016, when he signed Otto Porter, Allen Crabbe and Tyler Johnson to enormous offer sheets, putting the pressure on their existing teams to match them.
It could be an interesting run up to the Feb. 7 trade deadline for Russell and the Nets and if DLo finishes the season in Brooklyn, the annual free-agent feeding frenzy becomes must-see TV.