What If D'Angelo Russell Joins The Indiana Pacers?
At the start of this year, the Brooklyn Nets were projected to continue their long-awaited streak of being at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. However, A player named D'Angelo Russell decided to change the Nets fate by becoming the all-star player the organization needed. In fact, the Brooklyn Nets proceeded to break all expectation as they managed to land the sixth seed in the East. The fans, as well as D'Angelo's teammates, were ecstatic considering that Nets have not touched the playoffs in nearly 5 years and when they did touch the playoffs it was a first round. Now although this year the Nets suffered the same fate, the difference is, this organization is a young up incoming team in the Eastern Conference and are in no rush to win anything for many years to come. D'Angelo Russell was the main reason as to why the Brooklyn Nets had the amount of success they did. Despite D'Angelo entering this off-season as a restricted free-agent, he expressed full commitment with the franchise as he was willing to sign a max-contract extension with the Brooklyn Nets. However, this upcoming free agency has a lot of star-studded talent which could determine a different scenery at the Barclays Center. With the Brooklyn Nets having 2 max slots, the potential for this franchise went from developing their current roster too, building a potential championship contending team. With the rumours of Kyrie Irving joining this team the confusion is, what is going to happen to D'Angelo Russell?
As the rumours for Kyrie Irving joining the Brooklyn Nets continue to grow, speculations are starting to pile up for where D'Angelo Russell will be. Many teams appeared on Russell's radar such as the Utah Jazz or Phoenix Suns; however, the most rumoured destination for D'Angelo Russell to join is, the Indiana Pacers. This year, the Pacers were one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference and were at one point a top 5 team record wise in the entire NBA until Victor Oladipo tore his ACL. Despite losing their franchise player, the Pacers managed to play great basketball as they ended the season with the fifth seed. Although the Pacers were eliminated in the first round by the Boston Celtics, Indiana still managed to have an incredible season considering that they lost their franchise player in the middle of the season. This determines that the incredible supporting cast the Pacers acquired throughout the year's supplies this organization with playoff DNA. He would not have to worry about carrying a team to the playoffs and instead simply be an offensive weapon to help the Pacers attain that next step. Besides the depth that the Pacers have, what else does Indiana have to offer?
Throughout D'Angelo Russell's career, the idea of playing alongside another all-star calibre player is vert abstract due to his basketball journey. The only all-star calibre player that D'Angelo has ever been around was an ageing Kobe Bryant which goes to show how good D'Angelo Russell is. Considering that there was no other all-star in Brooklyn, he managed to lead the Nets to playoffs which was unexpected. Without D'Angelo Russell, the Brooklyn Nets would not have been able to make it to the playoffs which go to show what type of player he is. The Pacers would allow D'Angelo to continue his duties as a leader for the organization, however, would be supplied with help. The potential the Pacers have with this signing would be incredible as Indiana would have arguably the best back court in the Eastern Conference and maybe the entire NBA. With D'Angelo Russell being the primary ball distributor and spot-up shooter in transition to Victor Oladipo's defensive IQ and scoring, this dynamic duo would allow the Pacers to have the most balanced backcourt in the entire league. Not to forget Myles Turner and his incredible defence to Domantas Sabonis and his all-around game, the future of this organization would be bright. The thing that stands out about D'Angelo Russell joining this organization compared to the other teams is, the balance that this team would have. Offensively and defensively the Pacers would have the potential to be top 10 in the entire NBA in both departments. The only negative side of this signing is, the Pacers losing out on Bojan Bogdanovic as he was the primary scorer when Oladipo went down. If the Pacers managed to be at one point the third seed with only one all-star, we can only begin to fantasize what this team would be if they had 2.
With the potential departure of Kyrie Irving from the Boston Celtics, the most likely destination for him is the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets organization made it clear that Kyrie Irving is their number one target for free-agency, which means that D'Angelo Russell will most likely be on a new team. Looking at this situation, this could be the best thing that could have happened for Russell's legacy going forward. The idea that D'Angelo would be paired alongside another all-star and also be around an incredible surrounding cast shows lots of potential to one day be an NBA championship contender. When diving into the history of the Indiana Pacers, they have always been a team that was constructed well however not well enough to become contenders. Whether it was the Paul George era in 2014 or the early 2000's Ron Artest and Jermaine Oneal era, this team could never go past the hump of making the NBA finals. The closest that the Pacers managed to get toward contending for a championship was during the Reggie Miller era back in 2000 as they made the Finals that year. Overall, the Pacers were always a good team, however not a championship contender once the Reggie Miller era came to a close. Despite the constant failures this organization has been through, the Pacers finally have a chance to touch the finals once by using this free-agency.
What this free agency signing allows is a chance for this organization to be back to the contention of an NBA championship. By having 2 all-star players do terrific depth, the room for potential is endless as the Pacers would have one of the more complete teams in the NBA. Overall this would be an excellent fit for D'Angelo Russell as he would have an opportunity to lead as well as help a team to take their franchise to the next level. Although D'Angelo wants to continue his talents in Brooklyn, he would have a higher chance to build a dynasty in Indiana due to these reasons listed here. Even if the Brooklyn Nets want to bring back D'Angelo Russell, he should consider these reasons to join the Indiana Pacers. Despite nothing being confirmed, will D'Angelo Russell continue to be a Brooklyn Net or will he be on a different organization?