Nets extend qualifying offer to star guard Russell

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The Brooklyn Nets have extended a qualifying offer of just more than $9 million to D'Angelo Russell, according to Shams Charania of Stadium.

The move will make the All-Star guard a restricted free agent and give the Nets the opportunity to match any rival offer for Russell.

"Russell has a cap hold of $21,059,095, meaning they’ll have approximately $46MM in cap space entering free agency," Dana Garuder of HoopsRumors explained. "However, if they secure commitments from two other high-level free agents, they can still renounce Russell’s rights or not match an offer sheet for him, which would open up approximately $68MM in cap space."

The Nets have been linked to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant as potential high-profile signings in free agency. Extending the offer to Russell gives them options should no one else sign.

Russell will reportedly be courted by the Los Angeles Lakers, Indiana Pacers and several others once the free agency period begins Sunday.

He averaged 21.1 points and 7.0 assists in 81 games this past season, helping lift the Nets to the Eastern Conference playoffs.