Could This Former All-Star Guard End Up With the Brooklyn Nets?

D'Angelo Russell

Getty D'Angelo Russell of the Los Angeles Lakers

While no big move has been made yet in the week leading up to the February 8 trade deadline, the rumors are starting to intensify. A recent report outlined the possibility that Los Angeles Lakers‘ guard D’Angelo Russell ends up with the Brooklyn Nets.

The report, which was published by The Athletic’s Sam Amick, discusses the ongoing trade talks regarding a deal that would send Dejounte Murray of the Atlanta Hawks to the Lakers.

Where things get interesting, Amick reports, “is the Hawks’ clear disinterest in taking back D’Angelo Russell and the need for a different landing spot for the Lakers guard as a result.” Amick continues “Brooklyn is routinely highlighted by league sources as a Russell candidate here.”

Russell played for the Nets from the 2017-18 season through the 2018-19 season and made his only career All-Star appearance while with the team.

Russell Has Been Balling

So far this season, Russell is averaging 17.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game, while shooting 46.5% from the field and 41.6% from three.

While those are solid numbers, Russell’s best ball of the season has been played lately. Over his last 14 games, Russell is averaging 23.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 6.5 assists, while shooting 46.8% from the field and 46.3% from three.

The three point shooting of Russell has been particularly noteworthy. He is averaging 8.8 three point attempts per game over the last 14 games, which is the eighth most in the league over that stretch. Of the 15 players who are averaging 8 or more threes over the last 14 games, no one has shot more efficiently than Russell.

He has also been exceptional over the 14 game in the clutch. The NBA defines clutch play as the final five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime when the score is within five points. Russell has played in 14.8 clutch minutes over the 14 game period, in those minutes he has scored 12 points while shooting 50% from the field and 75% from three.

In fact, Russell’s play has been so great lately that the Lakers have started to become hesitant about moving him at all. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on his February 7 episode of The Woj Pod, “D’Angelo Russell, playing the way he’s played over the last several weeks, I think has changed the view of it in LA.” Woj continued by saying the possibility of the Lakers moving Russell has become “far less likely.”

Other Brooklyn Trade Buzz

The Nets front office has reportedly made it clear they are not willing to move 27-year-old Mikal Bridges in a trade. On January 31, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported that “Despite Brooklyn’s recent slide, which has put the Nets on the bubble of the final Play-In Tournament spot with the Hawks, the Nets have continued to tell teams Mikal Bridges is not available.”

Ian Begley reported for SNY that Brooklyn is also uninterested in trading center Nic Claxton, writing “the Nets are not looking to shop Claxton ahead of the deadline.” Begley also reported that the Milwaukee Bucks have shown interest in Dorian Finney-Smith.

The Nets currently sit at 20-30, two games back from the final Play-In spot in the east. Bridges remains confident in his team’s ability to reach the playoffs, saying “Just gotta be better. Not where we wanna be at right now. But obviously, there’s still a shot. Just gotta play better… but I do think so” when asked about the Nets’ chances of making the playoffs.

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