No matter how many times they insist that they consider him as part of their long-term future, rumors are still expected to continue swirling around D’Angelo Russell and his future with the Golden State Warriors. Russell may be able to provide the offensive firepower that the Warriors lost in Kevin Durant’s departure, but with the presence of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in their backcourt, he’s clearly an odd fit on their roster. As of now, Russell is considered one of the NBA players who will likely be moved before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline.
Since he just signed a new contract in the 2019 NBA offseason, Russell won’t be eligible for trading until December 15. However, once he becomes officially available on the trade market, some league executives who spoke to Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks that the Warriors could get a trade package including a future first-round pick and a quality role player in exchange for Russell.
“If the Warriors decide to investigate the market, some league executives believe it’s not unreasonable to think the Warriors could get another first-round pick plus a quality role player for Russell, especially if they’re able to construct a deal where they take back salary. Even if Russell ends up looking like a great fit and the Warriors elect to keep him through the season, he would potentially have just as much value next summer when the free-agent pool is shallow and teams go hunting for talent upgrades.”
It’s definitely not impossible for the Warriors to get those types of assets in the potential Russell deal. Though he’s the odd man out in Golden State, Russell remains an All-Star caliber talent who has yet to reach his full potential. In his first five games as a Warrior, Russell averaged 19.0 points and 6.4 assists while shooting 38.6 percent from the field and 31.4 percent from beyond the arc.
If he shows better performance on both ends of the floor, Russell’s trade value will likely increase when becomes trade-eligible in mid-December. At 23, Russell would be an ideal target for rebuilding teams who want to speed up the process or legitimate title contenders who are in dire need of a backcourt boost. As Windhorst noted, one of the NBA teams who is keeping an eye on Russell’s situation in Golden State is the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Timberwolves would be a great trade partner for the Warriors. Aside from having expiring contracts, they have quality role players and collections of future draft picks. The Timberwolves were among Russell’s top suitors in the 2019 NBA free agency, and they will likely do everything they can to bring him to Minnesota once they see his name on the trading block before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline.