In the past few months, rumors have been swirling around All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell and his future with the Golden State Warriors. Russell may be able to somewhat fill the hole Kevin Durant left on the offensive end of the floor, but with the emergence of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in their backcourt, the former No. 2 overall pick is clearly an odd fit on their roster.
Since players who signed contracts in the 2019 free agency are now eligible to be traded, several NBA teams have already been linked to Russell, including the Orlando Magic.
The Magic may be currently sitting in the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference, but with their current performance, it remains a big question mark if they have what it takes to contend for the NBA championship this season. If they are serious about making noise this season, the Magic should strongly consider seeking major roster upgrades before the February trade deadline.
According to Seth Arora of Fansided’s Orlando Magic Daily, the Magic could explore sending a trade package centered on Aaron Gordon to acquire Russell from the Warriors.
Trading Gordon for Russell would be a no-brainer for the Magic. Aside from helping them address the logjam in their frontcourt, the potential acquisition of Russell would tremendously boost the Magic’s backcourt, as he would be giving them an All-Star-caliber point guard who is also a very reliable option on the offensive end of the floor.
This season, the 23-year-old floor general is averaging 23.2 points and six assists, while shooting 43.3 percent from the field and 36.3 percent from beyond the arc.
“Russell can flat out score. He dominates the ball but his herky-jerky offensive style makes him a threat to score on every play,” Arora wrote. “His floaters are odd things of wonder, released at uncommon points and at unpredictable moments that are difficult to defend. He also gets his teammates involved and is a willing passer. Russell also does something the Orlando Magic sorely need: he makes open shots. He also has shown a willingness to learn from the championship pedigree established in Golden State.”
The proposed trade deal also makes some sense for the Warriors. Instead of experimenting with a three-guard lineup featuring Russell, the deal would allow the Warriors to acquire a young talent in Gordon, who could complement their core of Draymond Green, Thompson, and Curry. However, to further convince the Warriors to send Russell to Orlando, the Magic would need to add more valuable trade assets in the potential deal, including a reliable veteran role player and a future draft pick.