Brooklyn Nets: Why Russell’s incident shouldn’t impact free agency

Brooklyn Nets. D'Angelo Russell (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets. D'Angelo Russell (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets made the playoffs for the first time since the 2014-15 season and a large reason why was because of D’Angelo Russell. Will his recent incident impact his looming free agency?

The Brooklyn Nets went 42-40 this season which was good enough for sixth in the Eastern Conference. Had it not been for D’Angelo Russell, there is a good chance they might have finished towards the bottom of the East.

Now, with Russell entering free agency the question becomes, what happens if they can’t keep him in Brooklyn?

Russell had the best season of his career in 2018-19 as he exploded for 21.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game this season. That was a giant improvement from the year prior in which he went for 15.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game.

That said, he was a very valuable asset for the Nets this season as he was selected to the first All-Star Game of his career. But do the Nets have enough talent to make him want to remain with the team?

In addition to all this, Russell was in the news last week as he tried to sneak marijuana onto a plane as he hid it in an Arizona tea can. His weed was confiscated and Russell made headlines across the country.

How much will this impact his image going into free agency?

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At first glance, one might think that it will have a pretty large impact, but that is not necessarily the case. Marijuana is being accepted more and more nowadays as it has become legal in several states and with that the suspensions/punishments have become substantially less harsh.

There is a good chance that Russell might not even see any repercussions from the NBA for being caught with weed. The fact that the NBA has yet to release a statement about the incident tells me that maybe they won’t suspend him.

However, this did happen while the playoffs are going on and also Russell is a free agent so Adam Silver and the NBA may wait until he has signed to make a decision on the matter. This being said, it MIGHT be something some teams consider when pursuing the young point guard out of Ohio State.

Then again it might not. Chances are if Russell receives any sort of repercussion, it will be in the form of a fine or a suspension for a few games. I would say AT MOST 2-4 games, but even that is a stretch.

I couldn’t see a team potentially not sign Russell, or offer him substantially less simply because of this incident. The chances of the Nets keeping Russell in New York seem pretty good to me.

Russell loved playing in Brooklyn and he has the potential to be the guy for the Nets for a long time coming. We have seen him grow into his own, make an All-Star Game and help his team to the playoffs for the first time in several years.

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Considering all the facts, I think the chances of D’Angelo Russell signing with the Brooklyn Nets and staying put are pretty high.