Knicks should pursue Russell in lieu of Irving
Rumors over the past few weeks have heated up about the Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving. If that’s the case and Irving is going to sign with Brooklyn, the Knicks should pursue Brooklyn’s own young star guard, D’Angelo Russell. It’s not to say that the Nets can’t re-sign Russell and sign Irving, but it’s highly unlikely considering they play similar games and Irving has become one of the top free agent targets.
If the Nets are willing to cast aside Russell for Irving, the Knicks should swoop in on D’Angelo Russell immediately. Although Russell is a Restricted Free Agent, he will have the option to sign with another team if the Nets don’t want to sign him. Russell is coming off his best career season, averaging 21.1 PPG, 7.0 APG and 3.9 RPG.
Russell may not deserve it but he will most likely fetch a max contract for his career year. He’s only 23 years old and seems to have hit his stride after being taken second overall by the Lakers in 2015. Russell is four years younger than Kyrie Irving and much less injury prone based off of both their histories.
The Knicks would be taking a huge risk knowing that Russell has only had one legitimate season under his belt but the risk is worth it considering his upside and youth. The Knicks may be able to get him on a discounted deal as well because of his lack of track record. The Knicks would take a gamble either way with Russell or Irving, and given how they’ve been burned before by an injury plagued star (Am’are Stoudemire) they should err on the side of caution.
D’Angelo Russell could be the superstar the Knicks need. He’s young, talented and ready to prove the basketball world wrong once again. The Knicks have a lot of decisions to make this offseason and their future hangs in the balance of this season. If they decide not to pursue Irving, Durant or Russell they can roll over their leftover cap to 2020. It’ll be an interesting offseason for New York and they could get off to a good start with a value signing of D’Angelo Russell.
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