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D’Angelo Russell - “Franchise Player”

Brooklyn Nets

The Nets haven’t used the term, but Adrian Wojnarowski did shortly after midnight during the ESPN NBA free agency special. He was talking about the obstacles Brooklyn might face in signing J.J. Redick: Brooklyn is only offering a two-year deal ... and the Nets want him to come off the bench

Woj said that "Brooklyn is committed to a Lin-Russell backcourt and J.J. would come off the bench.” The newly minted ESPN writer said the Nets intend to make Russell their “franchise player.”

Franchise player? Sure. Russell, despite his controversies, is a legitimate star and at 21 years old, has plenty of room to grow. There seems little doubt that the 6’5” guard is going to have a lot of the ball in his hands ... and in an offense that fits his style, wide open with plenty of opportunities for playmaking.

The Nets have already started to market Russell. It’s only six seconds but this video gives you a hint of what they plan.

That’s Brett Yormark, Nets CEO, leading Russell through the Nets Sales Team office, smiling and applauding. The marketing will no doubt come soon. Expect it to include highlights of which there are no shortage and an emphasis on how he fits into the Nets youthful image.

We wouldn’t be surprised, in fact we’d be disappointed, if the Nets didn’t revive “Brooklyn’s Backcourt,” the trademark they went for back in 2012 when the twosome was Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. Remember the Borough Hall rally?

Of course, D-Will and Joe Jesus were older (28 and 31 compared to 28 and 21) and much more accomplished, but the hope remains the same.

Too much too soon? Is there a risk with his mercurial personality? Could be, but the Nets realize they have to capitalize on their luck — and make up for the loss of the franchise’s most popular player, Brook Lopez. And of course at this point, they have little else to market following a 20-win team.