D’Angelo Russell motivated by Devin Booker mega deal
Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker is fresh off letting the ink dry in a five-year, $158 million rookie-scale extension with the Phoenix Suns, which is bound to see him nearly triple the amount he’ll make after his first four years in the league ($10 million) in the first year of his extension (approximately $27.3 million).
Close friend and draftmate D’Angelo Russell is also due for an extension, but the Brooklyn Nets have yet to come forward with an offer.
The same can be said for Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, a member of the trio of friends who date back to their AAU days — still waiting to see the numbers on his impending offer sheet after three straight double-double seasons.
“It’s a life-changing moment for all of us,” Booker said after signing his extension, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic. “Obviously, everybody wants to be in that situation to be a max player, and it comes at different times for people, so I think D’Angelo, I was with him yesterday, he looks at it as motivation, something that he’s going to get towards. I know Karl Towns is most likely going to do his this summer I would think, but it’s a blessing for sure.”
Came along way from borrowing elite socks 😂 well deserved my brotha #MAX
— D'Angelo Russell (@Dloading) July 8, 2018
Russell started to show glimpses of greatness, averaging over 20 points per game during his opening stint with the Nets before suffering a knee injury, playing only 48 games last season due to an arthroscopic knee surgery.
Barring a setback with his health, Booker believes his “brother” is bound to tap into his potential and get that big contract, whether it is this summer or the next.
“I think he’s more focused than ever right now,” Booker said. “Like I said earlier, everybody has…comes at different times and different opportunities. He’s in a whole new situation in Brooklyn, and I think he looked at that as a fresh start and he’s been working hard this summer. I know he’s been in New York grinding with the team and I’ve been in Los Angeles. Every time we talk on the phone it’s like, ‘I’m working’ and he’s saying the same thing. He’s locked in and ready to go.”
Russell put up 15.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game last season, a far cry from Booker’s career-high 24.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game on a career-high 38 percent from 3-point range as the clear franchise player.