D’Angelo Russell is among the most fascinating names on the NBA’s free agent market this summer. While he is a restricted free agent and flourished in Brooklyn during the 2018-19 campaign, there is no guarantee the Nets bring him back, as they’re looking to sign Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. While it’s always wise to assume restricted free agents will return to their teams, it’s not hard to see a pathway to him going elsewhere.
One of Russell’s friends, Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns, told us he wants the team to make a move for the All-Star guard. The good news is Minnesota reportedly tried to figure something out, but the bad news is that didn’t go over all that well.
According to a report by Darren Wolfson of SKOR North, the Timberwolves reached out to the Nets about a sign-and-trade centered around flipping Andrew Wiggins for Russell. Brooklyn, apparently, was having none of it.
“I am told there was some dialogue with Brooklyn to see if the Nets would have some interest in a sign-and-trade, Wiggins for D’Angelo Russell,” Wolfson said at the 32:18 mark of this radio show. “I don’t sense those talks got even a smidge off the ground, the Nets are not taking on that contract.”
The Nets trading for Wiggins doesn’t make much sense, because as long as they believe they have a shot at landing Irving and Durant, having Wiggins’ gargantuan contract that won’t come off the books until 2023 would and will pay him more than $140 million in that time would make that next to impossible. Perhaps Minnesota will one day find a way to get off of the copious amount of money Wiggins is owed, but it won’t be in a sign-and-trade that lands Russell on the Timberwolves.