In a move that has to be considered a surprise to many, the Brooklyn Nets have reportedly extended a qualifying offer to All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell.
It has been a foregone conclusion for some time that Brooklyn would renounce Russell’s rights, eliminating the $21.1 million cap hold on his contract in the process.
The idea behind that logic is that the Nets will chase after two max-contract free agents. With that $20-plus million on the books, things get more complicated.
Brooklyn can work out a sign-and-trade for Russell, but that would have to come after the official start of the new league year. Meanwhile, free agents are allowed to start speaking with teams Sunday evening.
If the Nets had renounced Russell’s rights, he would’ve hit the unrestricted free agent market.
This move might very well signal that the Nets hope to retain Russell to team up with Kyrie Irving rather than adding another outside star such as Kevin Durant.