After failing to win their third consecutive NBA championship title, the Golden State Warriors took another huge blow when they lost one of their best players, Kevin Durant, in the 2019 NBA free agency period. Despite strong efforts from the Warriors to convince him to stay, Durant still ended up leaving Golden State to team up with Kyrie Irving on the Brooklyn Nets. Though they managed to acquire D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade deal with the Nets, the All-Star point guard is clearly an odd fit on the Warriors’ roster that has Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in their backcourt.
As of now, the popular belief around the league is that the Warriors will consider trading Russell once Thompson fully recovers from an injury. In his recent article, Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report created a list of blockbuster deals that could further shake up the power balance in the Eastern and Western Conferences. To help the Warriors achieve a balanced roster in the 2019-20 NBA season, Bailey suggested that they could engage in a trade negotiation with the Orlando Magic involving Russell.
In the proposed trade from Bleacher Report, the Warriors will be sending D’Angelo Russell to the Magic in exchange for Aaron Gordon and D.J. Augustin. Though the deal works financially, the Warriors and the Magic will still be needing to wait until mid-December to make trade since Russell just signed a new contract in the 2019 NBA free agency. If the trade becomes a reality, it will not only be beneficial for the Warriors but also for the Magic.
“Trading a player from a talent-rich area (the interior) to upgrade at point guard could push the Magic closer to home-court advantage in the Eastern Conference. Last season, they were plus-6.3 points per 100 possessions when Augustin and Vucevic were on the floor, according to Cleaning the Glass. D’Angelo Russell is bigger (6’5″ to 6’0″), eight years younger and topped Augustin in both offensive real plus-minus and overall real plus-minus last season. The upgrade there might be worth losing Gordon and trusting more minutes at the 3 and 4 to Isaac, Aminu and Terrence Ross.”
"This situation gives me an opportunity to be a sponge. I can learn a lot from everyone: a Hall of Fame coach – one of the winningest coaches ever – and from three different players who are Hall of Famers. It’s cool, man." https://t.co/OSpmxneeyr
— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) August 12, 2019
Meanwhile, in exchange for D’Angelo Russell, the Warriors will be acquiring two players that could boost their chance of reclaiming the NBA championship in the 2019-20 NBA season. Aaron Gordon will be a better fit to the Warriors’ roster than Russell. Though he’s yet to reach the same level as Kevin Durant, Gordon could fill the hole he left in the Warriors’ wing. D.J. Augustin won’t just be a salary cap filler in the deal as he could serve as a very reliable backup for Stephen Curry next season.