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Utah Jazz Rumors: D'Angelo Russell could join in free agency, Ricky Rubio set for an exit and more

ANALYST
Rumors
792   //    17 May 2019, 23:53 IST

The Utah Jazz have been backed to make a move for D'Angelo Russell this summer
The Utah Jazz have been backed to make a move for D'Angelo Russell this summer

The Utah Jazz entered the 18/19 season with the belief that they could contend with the Western Conference's best teams. The Jazz had stunned the Thunder during the 2018 playoffs, and Donovan Mitchell was expected to build on his impressive rookie season.

However, the Jazz stagnated as their rivals got stronger, and after only managing to finish 5th during the regular season, they were easily eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by James Harden and the Houston Rockets. The current roster still has plenty of promise, although one or two changes are expected, and here are all the Utah rumors you need to know.


#1 D'Angelo Russell could be a prime target

Russell enjoyed an excellent season for the Nets
Russell enjoyed an excellent season for the Nets

D'Angelo Russell will become a restricted free agent this summer, and his future with the Nets is far from assured. If the 23-year-old chooses to part with the Nets, Bleacher Report's Dan Favale believes the Jazz are in pole position to secure his signature:

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.

During the 18/19 season, Russell averaged 21 points, 7.0 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game, also earning a first All-Star appearance. 

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