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Nets GM on Possible D'Angelo Russell Contract Extension: 'We'll Let It Ride Out'

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2018

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 3: D'Angelo Russell #1 of the Brooklyn Nets drives to the basket against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center on April 3, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks indicated the team will not agree to a rookie-scale contract extension with guard D'Angelo Russell before the Oct. 15 deadline. 

"If I was to say right now, I'd probably say we'll let it ride out. But things change in this business pretty quickly, so we'll adjust as we go," Marks said Tuesday, according to the New York Post's Brian Lewis

"We've got several guys that could be up for extension. We've had conversations with them and their agents, they know where they stand. I think this year will breed a competitive environment for everybody out here. We'll see how it falls."

If the two sides don't reach an agreement before the start of the regular season, Russell will become a restricted free agent next summer assuming the Nets tender a $9.1 million qualifying offer. 

In that case, the Nets would retain the right to match any offer sheet Russell signs with a competing club. 

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 draft, Russell was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Nets before the start of the 2017-18 campaign. During his first season in Brooklyn, Russell averaged 15.5 points, 5.2 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game while shooting 41.4 percent from the floor, including 32.4 percent from three. 

However, he appeared in just 48 games after knee surgery forced him to miss a significant chunk of time between Nov. 15 and Jan. 18. 

Now entering a pivotal season that will dictate his long-term earning power, Russell appears determined to morph into a leader for an up-and-coming Nets team. 

"I see more of a commitment to his body, more of an understanding of our culture and I think it's almost like we kind of brought him to private school, and it's a little more where he thrived at Ohio State," head coach Kenny Atkinson said, per The Athletic's Michael Scotto. "Kind of like a college system, regimented system. I think we've been good for each other in terms of he’s got a great imagination, a really good IQ about the game. But all the little things you have to do in this league to be a consistent player in the NBA, I think he’s maturing and learning."

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