The Brooklyn Nets just got knocked out of the playoffs in 5 games by the Philadelphia 76ers, but they have little to be ashamed of, as they really shocked the world thanks to their stellar play throughout the entire regular season.
The Nets weren’t even supposed to make the playoffs, but Kenny Atkinson and his players truly embraced the underdog role and upset the best teams in the league en route to the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference.
Moreover, this team has a lot of cap space for this summer with just over 50 million in guaranteed deals beyond the season, so they can make a run at top-tier free agents of the likes of Jimmy Butler, while also extending D’Angelo Russell. But, which is the most realistic case-scenario for them?
2. Resign D’Angelo Russell
There’s absolutely no reason why the Brooklyn Nets shouldn’t double their bet on D’Angelo Russell. He proved he was worthy of a max deal this season and is still just 22 years old, so he’s definitely worth the risk.
Russell got his first All-Star nod and finally showed why the Lakers and most NBA scouts were so high on him during his Ohio State tenure, and he’s going to ask around 27 million dollars a year, according to reports.
Posting averages of 21.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.2 steals, and 2.9 three-pointers on 43/36/78 shooting, he’s one of the most promising players in the world right now and they just can’t afford to let him walk away.
1. Sign Julius Randle
Julius Randle is yet another late bloomer that’s proving the Los Angeles Lakers wrong for giving up on him so easily, as he completely dominated in both ends of the floor with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Randle is a physical beast and a true hustler that would be a great fit for this team and a huge threat in the pick and roll with Russell, even if that creates a bit of a spacing problem down low next to Jarrett Allen.
The power forward averaged 21.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 0.7 steals per game on 52/34/73 shooting, and having a former 2nd overall pick and 7th overall pick on your team may be enough to lure some other great role players to jump on board.
If not, that starting lineup featuring D’Angelo Russell, Caris LeVert, Joe Harris, Randle, Jarrett Allen can have a lot of potentials, as it combines multiple ball-handlers and sharpshooting with physical rim protection.