NBA News Roundup, Sunday, May 12th: Lakers set to appoint new head coach, D'Angelo Russell free-agency update and more
The NBA playoffs are currently the talk of the basketball world, although there is no shortage of other stories emerging from around the league.
The 2019 draft is just weeks away, and teams will be hoping to strike gold by drafting either Zion Williamson or Ja Morant. Meanwhile, Anthony Davis continues to be linked with a blockbuster trade, and a host of stars including Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, and Kemba Walker are about to hit free agency.
So, with plenty going on around the NBA, here are the biggest news stories and rumors you need to know for May 12th.
Utah Jazz linked with D'Angelo Russell
Following an impressive season, D'Angelo Russell will hit free agency this summer, and Bleacher Report's Dan Favale suggests the Utah Jazz could be the frontrunners if the point guard decides to leave Brooklyn:
Carving out the cap space necessary to make a run at Russell is neither difficult nor without collateral damage. Waiving Derrick Favors and Raul Neto does the trick—and then some. They could also hope Russell costs noticeably less than the max and elect to waive Korver ($3.4 million partial guarantee) instead of Favors.
If any team can justify footing a puffed-up price tag, it's the Jazz. They're on the fringes of the championship-contender discussion, don't have a single bad contract on the books, and Mitchell's next deal won't take effect until 2021-22. Russell is a high-variance gamble they can afford to make.
After being drafted by the Lakers in 2015, Russell struggled to live up to lofty expectations. Yet, since joining the Nets two years ago, the 23-year-old guard has established himself as an All-Star, also helping Brooklyn to a postseason appearance this season.
During the 18/19 season, Russell averaged 21 points, 7.0 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game -- also shooting a career-high percentage (43.4) from the field.