It seems like Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury in the NBA Finals has impacted nearly half the league, but chief among the impacted are Kyrie Irving and D’Angelo Russell.
Russell, a restricted free agent with the Brooklyn Nets, is a bit in the wind when it comes to where he will be playing next year, and his fate largely depends on where Irving ends up.
And apparently, the Los Angeles Lakers are hoping that is with the Nets. In that case, Brooklyn likely would renounce Russell, making him an unrestricted free agent, opening the door for him to return to LA, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“The Lakers now at this point are rooting for Kyrie Irving to go to Brooklyn,” Wojnarowski said on ESPN. “Because then Brooklyn renounces D’Angelo Russell, who is a restricted free agent. He becomes unrestricted and then the Lakers could sign Russell as their third star in LA. And they get back a much more mature, polished player, who’s been an All-Star, whose put a team into the postseason.”
Well, that’s a “Woj bomb” if we’ve ever heard one.
There’s enough evidence to suggest the Nets are the frontrunners to sign Irving in free agency this offseason, but Kevin Durant’s injury could throw a wrench into Brooklyn’s presumed plan to build around the two superstars.
The Lakers in the meantime, reportedly are still in on Kawhi Leonard for their last remaining max slot. This is all without mentioning that the Lakers traded Russell in 2017. There’s a lot to sift through here.
At this point, with so many balls in the air, it’s pretty tough to keep track of all the rumors. But one thing is for sure, Sunday is going to be a wild one.
Thumbnail photo via Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports Images