After failing to win their third consecutive NBA championship, the Golden State Warriors took another huge blow in the 2019 offseason when they lost one of their best players, Kevin Durant, in free agency. Luckily, the Warriors managed to avoid losing Durant as an unrestricted free agent without getting anything in return. In a sign-and-trade deal with the Brooklyn Nets, the Warriors acquired All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell in exchange for Durant.
With his impressive performance last season, Russell has the potential to fill the hole Durant left on the offensive end of the floor. However, since his arrival, rumors have swirled around Russell and his future with the Warriors. According to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, Russell could be the “most sought-after name” before the February trade deadline if he doesn’t mesh well with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson returns from an ACL injury.
Once he becomes officially available on the trade market, several NBA teams who are in dire need of a backcourt boost will surely be lining up to get the service of Russell. However, though he’s clearly an odd fit on their roster, the Warriors’ asking price for Russell is expected to be high. As Swartz noted, the Warriors could demand a “star player” who plays small forward or center in the potential deal involving Russell.
“The only problem with trying to get him off Golden State? The price. Russell is the key to keeping the Warriors dynasty alive, either through his play or his trade value, and it would likely take a star player in return at either small forward or center for Golden State to consider a deal. Players who are good, young and on relatively affordable long-term deals don’t come around often. With Bradley Beal off the market, Russell may be the best the 2020 deadline has to offer.”
It is only reasonable for the Warriors to place a high value on D’Angelo Russell. The 23-year-old point guard is currently entering his prime and NBA teams who would acquire him would have full control of him until the 2022-23 NBA season. Despite the high asking price, the Warriors aren’t expected to have a hard time finding a trade partner for Russell.
Swartz mentioned three NBA teams who should make a call to the Warriors and inquire about Russell, namely the Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Detroit Pistons. Of all those teams, the Timberwolves are the only ones who publicly stated their interest in adding Russell to their roster. Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns reportedly have plans of playing together in one team and forming a “Big Three” with Phoenix Suns superstar Devin Booker.