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Nets sends ‘Thank You’ message to D’Angelo Russell

Nets, D'Angelo Russell, Warriors

Now that the NBA’s moratorium period has wrapped up, the Brooklyn Nets tweeted out a thank you message for D’Angelo Russell, who was part of a sign-and-trade with the Golden State Warriors to acquire Kevin Durant.

Russell’s move to Brooklyn not only spearheaded what would be part of a four-year turnaround, but also accelerated the vision general manager Sean Marks had in mind when he decided to trade his franchise player in Brook Lopez for a young 21-year-old with strong potential.

The Ohio State product quickly proved Marks right, averaging 21 points per game to start his 2017-18 season until an injury set him back and forced others to step up in his absence. While the lefty wasn’t quite the same after returning from injury, Marks had already seen the value in his roster, as the likes of Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie had stepped up to the plate, along with then-rookie center Jarrett Allen.

Upon his return for the 2018-19 season, the converse was true — as a LeVert injury forced Russell to step up in his place and carry the scoring load, posting 21 points and seven assists per game — averages that made him a first-time All-Star and helped him carry the Nets to the sixth spot in the East.

It was this accelerated progress that ultimately lured the likes of Durant and Kyrie Irving to choose Brooklyn over the New York Knicks, now having completed a fast turnaround that can put them in contention for years to come.