The Golden State Warriors may have failed to bring Kevin Durant back in the 2019 NBA free agency, but they didn’t lose him as an unrestricted free agent without getting anything in return. In a sign-and-trade deal with the Brooklyn Nets, the Warriors managed to acquire All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell. However, since they officially signed Russell, rumors have been continuously swirling around him and his future with the Warriors.
D’Angelo Russell may be able to fill the hole left by Kevin Durant on the offensive end of the floor but with the presence of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in the Warriors’ backcourt, he’s clearly an odd fit in Golden State. Once Thompson fully recovers and regains his All-Star form, most people see the Warriors trading Russell for players that could boost their chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and reclaiming the NBA championship title in the 2019-20 NBA season. According to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, one of the potential trade partners for the Warriors before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline is the Detroit Pistons.
In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Warriors will be sending a trade package including D’Angelo Russell and Willie Cauley-Stein to the Pistons in exchange for Andre Drummond, Sekou Doumbouya, and 2020 first-round pick. Both teams will be needing to wait until mid-December to make the deal since Russell and Cauley-Stein just signed new contracts in the 2019 NBA free agency. However, if the trade becomes a reality, it will help the Warriors and the Pistons in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.
In exchange for D’Angelo Russell, the Warriors would be acquiring an All-Star caliber center in Andre Drummond who could be a better fit with their championship core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. Though he’s not a floor-spacing big man, Drummond is a reliable scoring option in the paint, an incredible rebounder, and a quality rim protector. Last season, the 26-year-old big man averaged 17.3 points, 15.6 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 1.7 steals while shooting 53.3 percent from the field.
Trading Andre Drummond would undeniably be a tough decision for the Pistons, but it would definitely be worth it if it means acquiring a player of D’Angelo Russell’s caliber. As Swartz noted, Russell would give the Pistons a long-term answer at the point guard position and an All-Star who could build better chemistry with Blake Griffin.
“The Pistons are stuck in NBA purgatory, and adding a young All-Star point guard in Russell, 23, raises the ceiling. The No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft averaged 21.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.2 steals last season, leading the Brooklyn Nets to the playoffs following a dreadful 28-win season the year before. Current Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson only has one year left on his deal, and Derrick Rose has averaged just over 38 healthy games per season over the past eight years. Russell is under contract for the next four years and could create one of the Eastern Conference’s best one-two combos with Blake Griffin.”
Aside from D’Angelo Russell, the Pistons would also receive a solid replacement for Andre Drummond in Willie Cauley-Stein. Cauley-Stein may not be as good as Drummond right now, but being in a team where he could receive more playing time could speed up his development into one of the most dominant big men in the league.