D’Angelo Russell has shown massive improvement with his game in his second season playing for the Brooklyn Nets, finishing the 2018-19 NBA season averaging 21.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals, as well as 43.4 percent shooting from the field and 36.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc. With his incredible performances, Russell didn’t only get his first NBA All-Star selection, but he also managed to help the Nets return to the Eastern Conference playoffs. However, despite leading them to their first post-season appearance in three years, the Nets decided not to bring Russell back in the 2019 NBA free agency.
The Nets ended up sending D’Angelo Russell to the Golden State Warriors via a sign-and-trade deal to acquire All-Star forward Kevin Durant. In an interview with Nick Friedell of ESPN, Russell admitted that he was unaware that his future in Brooklyn was uncertain since the 2018-19 NBA season came to an end.
“I had no idea,” Russell said. “I know I understand the business of the league, so when things like that come to the light, it’s more of a ‘let’s go’ [attitude]. So I understood.”
However, D’Angelo Russell doesn’t hold a grudge against the Nets. As of now, the former No. 2 overall pick said that he’s “excited” for the opportunity to play alongside Stephen Curry in Golden State. The Warriors may have lost Kevin Durant in the free agency, but they are not a team to be underestimated.
The departure of Kevin Durant has undeniably hurt the Warriors’ chances of reclaiming their throne in the 2019-20 NBA season, but with the core of Stephen Curry, D’Angelo Russell, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, they remain a legitimate threat in the deep Western Conference.
D’Angelo Russell may have signed a new contract, but he continues to be subject to several trade rumors. When the Nets-Warriors trade was announced, Marc Stein of the New York Times, as quoted by Bleacher Report, floated the idea that Russell may not last long in Golden State.
D’Angelo Russell admitted that he has heard the rumors about his future with the Warriors. However, Russell said that he understands that the NBA is a business, and, for now, he just wants to focus on the things he can control.
“That’s the business of it,” Russell said. “It is what it is. You put yourself in a position to go somewhere for a long period of time, and it may not be what it is a year later. And that’s the business. I’ve come to a realization of that, and I understand that, so whatever situation I’m in, I know the business side of it, so we’ll just see. I can’t predict it.”
D’Angelo Russell is set to enter the 2019-20 NBA season as Stephen Curry’s starting backcourt partner, but things are expected to dramatically change when Klay Thompson returns from injury. The Warriors may not only consider demoting Russell to the bench, but they could also try to move him before next year’s February NBA trade deadline.