Nets cover their bases, extend qualifying offer to D’Angelo Russell to make him restricted free agent

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We all know what Plan A is in Brooklyn: Sign Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to max contracts, add water, instant contender in the East (well, in a year after Durant recovers from his torn Achilles).

But what if everything doesn’t go according to plan?

Friday the Nets covered their bases and extended a qualifying offer to D'Angelo Russell, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

This was expected by everyone involved. What that means is the Nets have the right to match the offer any team makes to Russell — and there are a number of teams lined up, ready to talk to him when free agency opens, and maybe throw down some cash.

If Irving commits to Brooklyn, as is widely expected, then the Nets rescind the qualifying offer and Russell is an unrestricted free agent.

However, if Irving (and maybe Durant) decide they want to be Knicks, or if (when?) the Lakers strike out with Kawhi Leonard and swoop in to try to snap up Leonard, the Nets have their backup plan. They just match any offer and keep Russell, their All-Star point guard from last season.

Now the Nets can get back to focusing on Plan A.