Despite inking a new contract in the 2019 NBA free agency, rumors still continue to swirl around All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell and his future with the Golden State Warriors. With his impressive performance last season, Russell undeniably has the potential to fill the hole Kevin Durant left on the offensive end of the floor. However, with the presence of Stephen Curry and a healthy Klay Thompson in the backcourt, he’s clearly an odd fit on the Warriors’ roster. As of now, Russell is temporarily serving as Curry’s starting backcourt partner but once Thompson fully recovers and regains his All-Star form, most people see the Warriors making him available on the trade market before the February trade deadline.
Once the Warriors put him on the trading block, several NBA teams who are in dire need of a backcourt boost will surely express interest in adding Russell to their roster. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, Russell would be the “ideal trade target” for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“Towns badly needs a second scorer. The team has no future floor general, as both Jeff Teague and Shabazz Napier are on expiring contracts. Russell perfectly fits Towns’ timeline and arguably gives Minnesota its best chance to build a winner over the life of his four-year deal. If the Warriors are receptive to an offer, the Wolves should be able to meet their asking price. Robert Covington seems a likely centerpiece, with either Teague or Gorgui Dieng potentially making the money work. This makes too much sense not to happen, and who knows—maybe it gets Minnesota in play for Devin Booker down the line too.”
Karl-Anthony Towns continues to display impressive performances in his fifth year in the NBA, leading the Timberwolves to back-to-back victories in their first two games in the 2019-20 NBA season. However, in order to have a realistic chance of making lots of noise in the deep Western Conference, the Timberwolves obviously need another reliable scoring option that could help Towns carry the team. Andrew Wiggins was supposed to be that player, but as of now, he has yet to live up to expectations created by the massive contract he signed in 2017.
Towns has long been interested in bringing Russell to Minnesota. Though Russell snubbed them in the 2019 NBA free agency period, it still won’t be a surprise if Towns urges the Timberwolves to trade for him if ever he becomes available on the trade market. If the Warriors won’t demand much in return for Russell, Buckley believes that a trade package centered on Robert Covington would be enough to convince them to make a deal.
Robert Covington may not be an All-Star-caliber talent like D’Angelo Russell, but he would give the Warriors a defensive-minded wingman who is capable of knocking down shots from three-point range. To make the potential deal work financially, the Timberwolves could also add Jeff Teague in the trade package. The potential acquisition of Teague would enable the Warriors to add a reliable backup point guard while maintaining their salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2020.