From the time he signed a contract with the Golden State Warriors, rumors have been consistently swirling around All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell. Russell may somewhat fill the star power the Warriors lost when Kevin Durant left in free agency, but with the emergence of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in their backcourt, he’s obviously an odd fit on their roster. Days before Russell and other free agents who inked new deals last summer become eligible to be traded, Sean Deveney of Heavy gave some interesting information regarding the speculations surrounding the former No. 2 overall pick and mentioned several teams who could express interest in acquiring him before the February trade deadline.
As of now, Deveney revealed that the Warriors haven’t shown any indication that they would be parting with Russell anytime soon. The Warriors aren’t in a rush to trade Russell and they may first want to see if Coach Steve Kerr could utilize a three-guard lineup featuring Russell, Curry, and Thompson. However, if the Warriors finally decide to make Russell available on the trade market, Deveney sees one team who would immediately make an offer to Golden State: the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“If there is a team that has a deal in place with Golden State, the Wolves are the most likely culprit. The Warriors would also love to get hold of Robert Covington, an ideal fit for them on both sides of the ball. Covington is slated to make $11 million this year. The Wolves have been using a starting lineup without a point guard lately, with Jarrett Culver and either Josh Okogie or Treveon Graham (all shooting guards) in the backcourt. Teague and Shabazz Napier have been coming off the bench. Russell would fill an enormous need.”
The Timberwolves have long been interested in bringing Russell to Minnesota. Before the 2019 free agency officially started, Timberwolves superstar Karl-Anthony Towns publicly stated his desire to team up with Russell. Though they were snubbed by Russell last summer, the Timberwolves would likely do everything they can to acquire him once he’s officially available on the trading block.
However, as Deveney noted, the Timberwolves aren’t the only team who is keeping an eye on Russell’s situation in Golden State. Aside from the Timberwolves, the Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, and Chicago Bulls are also expected to pursue Russell on the trade market. With the Eastern Conference now wide open, it makes a lot of sense for the Magic, Pistons, Heat, and Bulls to become more aggressive in upgrading their roster to strengthen their chance of beating powerhouse teams like the Milwaukee Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers in a best-of-seven series.