Rising star D'Angelo Russell said he would like to return to the Brooklyn Nets after putting together the best season of his four-year career.
The 23-year-old guard averaged 21.1 points and 7.0 assists in 81 games this season and made his first All-Star team.
However, he will be a restricted free agent this summer, and Russell is aware that decisions outside his control make nothing a certainty.
"I definitely want to be here but I also know it's a business, too," Russell told reporters on Wednesday. "So I'm not going to play that role like I don't know what could possibly happen.
"Say somebody comes here that I have to be a part of (a transaction to acquire them), I know that could be a possibility. So I just want to stay in this moment and not speak too soon about anything."
With Russell being a restricted free agent, the Nets have the right to match any offer he receives.
Russell was one of more improved players in the NBA this season and has fit in well in his two seasons with the Nets. He struggled during his first two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers after being the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
He was shipped to the Nets in the summer of 2017 in a deal that sent Kyle Kuzma and Brook Lopez to Los Angeles.
He is a prime reason why Brooklyn went 42-40 this season and reached the playoffs for the first time 2015. The Nets lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in five games in an Eastern Conference first-round series.
Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson has repeatedly praised Russell's leadership and improved approach to the game. Russell's development under Atkinson makes him partial to continue playing for the coach by sticking with the franchise.
"Yeah, for sure, for sure. I don't know any other teams, I don't know any other GMs or coaches," Russell said. "I don't know any of those people. I know where I'm at. So it definitely gives you that advantage."
Shooting guard Caris LeVert said he hopes that Russell returns.
"We've obviously built a great chemistry together playing together the last couple of years, and I feel like it's only going to get better growing in the future," LeVert told reporters. "Whatever they decide to do, I'll obviously support it, but I'd love to play with D'Angelo."
Another player who will be a free agent is veteran forward DeMarre Carroll. He dropped an interesting nugget on reporters by saying his wife will decide which team he signs with.
"She said, 'I'm dictating this free agency. It's been 10 years and I've been sitting aside,' and she said 'it's my time,'" a smiling Carroll told reporters of his wife. "So it's her time, all I can do is sit back. I hope my wife picks a good destination, and hopefully its back here, but we'll see what happens."
Carroll, who is an unrestricted free agent, averaged 11.1 points and 5.2 rebounds in 67 games this season.
--Field Level Media
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