Once Irving commits to a deal, the Nets are expected to renounce All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell and allow him to become an unrestricted free agent, league sources said.
Nets will be willing to work with Russell and his reps on ways to get him to a team of his choice, including sign-and-trade scenarios, league sources said. If Russell and the Nets found a sign-and-trade deal that works for both, there is no need to renounce his rights.
There’s tremendous league-wide interest in Russell, including the Los Angeles Lakers, who reached out to Russell’s agents at CAA — Austin Brown and Aaron Mintz — to set up a meeting with the All-Star guard, league sources said. The Lakers and Russell share a mutual interest in a reunion. The Lakers have the cap space to sign him.
Russell averaged career bests in points (21.1 per game) and assists (7.0) this past season, and led the Nets to their first playoff birth since 2015.
Irving is coming off one of the best individual seasons of his career. In 67 games Irving, 27, averaged 23.8 points, along with career highs of 5.0 rebounds and 6.9 assists, however was unable to meet the lofty preseason expectations for the Celtics. Boston flamed out in five games in the second round against the Milwaukee Bucks — with Irving going a combined 21-for-65 in the final three games of that series (all losses).
The Celtics plan to meet with Kemba Walker in Boston on Sunday to finalize a formal agreement for a four-year, $141 million deal with the Celtics, league sources told ESPN.
Walker would provide the Celtics with an elite level replacement for Irving.
NBA free agents can begin negotiating agreements with teams at 6 p.m. ET Sunday. Contracts can be officially signed July 6.
Information from ESPN’s Tim Bontemps was used in this report.