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Kristian Winfield: Nets GM Sean Marks on contract extension possibility for D’Angelo Russell, and others. Both Russell and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are eligible for extensions this year. A max rookie extension next summer would be five years, $158 million. pic.twitter.com/Nwg47igsTi
Russell is owed $7.02 million this upcoming season and is eligible for a $9.16 million qualifying offer and restricted free agency next summer if he doesn’t agree to a rookie scale extension before the start of the regular season in October. “That’s not something I can control, so I just want to play, to be honest,” Russell said of his extension deadline coming up. “That’s really been my main focus. Staying healthy and finishing the season on a positive note. As a team, there’s a lot that we can really work on. Those have really been outweighing my thoughts on an extension and all of that.”
If the Nets want to sign Russell to a rookie-scale extension, they’ll need to do it before the regular season starts in October. So far they haven’t talked about doing so, seemingly content to extend the 22-year-old point guard a $9.16 million qualifying offer and let him hit restricted free agency next summer. “For now we’re going to see how this group plays together, how it all unfolds,” Marks said. “But — again, I’m not going to rule out anything — as we stand now, this is the group and we have no plans to make any crazy changes, whether that’s an extension or signing or trade anyone else. But things happen quickly.”
Conversely, Brooklyn and Russell’s camp have not discussed an extension yet a league source told The Athletic. The 22-year-old guard is owed $7.02 million this upcoming season and is eligible for a $9.16 million qualifying offer and restricted free agency next summer if he doesn’t agree to a rookie scale extension before the start of the regular season in October.
Booker, who called Russell his “brother” in a recent Instagram post, believes Russell is ready to capitalize on his opportunity this season after playing only 48 games last season due to knee surgery. “I think he’s more focused than ever right now,” Booker said. “Like I said earlier, everybody has…comes at different times and different opportunities. He’s in a whole new situation in Brooklyn, and I think he looked at that as a fresh start and he’s been working hard this summer. I know he’s been in New York grinding with the team and I’ve been in Los Angeles. Every time we talk on the phone it’s like, ‘I’m working’ and he’s saying the same thing. He’s locked in and ready to go.”
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September 23, 2018 | 3:48 am EDT Update
Against the displeasure of Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau, owner Glen Taylor has mandated that a deal needs to be negotiated to trade disgruntled All-Star forward Jimmy Butler in the next several days, league sources told ESPN. Butler has likely worn the Timberwolves uniform for the final time, because Taylor has no interest in bringing Butler into the team’s training camp and threatening a bigger circus than already exists within the franchise.
Thibodeau has been willing to coach the Timberwolves through the dysfunction that has surrounded his star players, but Taylor has sided with Butler and agreed that the four-time All-Star should be away from the Wolves for the foreseeable future, sources said.
Now Towns will have to follow his bold words with bold action. With his contract out of the way, the Timberwolves have shifted their focus, a source said, to finding a trade partner for Butler, who has been agitating to get out throughout the summer. The expectation from Taylor is that a deal will be done so the Timberwolves can avoid bringing Butler to training camp, which begins on Tuesday.
So far, few franchises, if any, are engaged in serious conversations with the Timberwolves on Butler, sources said. The list of organizations interested in talking further with Minnesota is significant, league sources said: Brooklyn, Detroit, Houston, the LA Clippers, Miami and Philadelphia are among the teams interested in probing for deals.
They wanted direction on how to proceed with Butler, and Taylor told them: Butler is available in trade talks, and I want it done sooner than later, sources said. “The owner’s trading him,” one Board of Governors source told ESPN. “That was made clear. It’s just a matter of when.” “He basically said, ‘If you don’t get anywhere with [Layden], and you’ve got something good, bring it to me,” another high-ranking league official told ESPN.
Taylor has far less of a stomach for a dysfunctional season of feuding among Butler, Towns and forward Andrew Wiggins and the damage that’ll do to the franchise’s image, league sources said. The franchise’s business operations want to limit the sullying of what had been until now a successful marketing campaign around the franchise’s starry young core, league sources said.