From the time that they acquired him in a sign-and-trade deal with the Brooklyn Nets last summer, the Golden State Warriors continue to insist that they intend to keep All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell long-term in Bay Area. Though they already have the Splash Brothers, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, running their backcourt, the Warriors believe that Russell could fit in on their roster. However, despite all that, Russell’s name continues to surface in various trade rumors and as of now, one of the NBA teams who is being linked to the former No. 2 overall pick is the Philadelphia 76ers.
In his recent article, Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic confirmed the reports that the Warriors currently don’t have any plans of moving Russell before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. However, Thompson believes that the Warriors could change their minds about trading Russell if the Sixers would offer a trade package including Ben Simmons.
“One of the interesting possibilities I’ve heard being kicked around is Russell for Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons,” Thompson wrote, as quoted by CBS Sports.
“The 76ers could use a point guard who can score and run the show — and shoot. Some believe the pairing of Simmons and big man Joel Embiid isn’t viable in their pursuit of a championship. Simmons, as one source told me, is probably the best player the Warriors could possibly get for Russell, just considering the needs of the Warriors and their potential trade partners.”
It would definitely not be a surprise if the Warriors are really intrigued by the idea of trading Russell for Simmons. The potential deal wouldn’t only address the logjam in their backcourt, but it would enable them to replace Russell with another All-Star caliber talent who could complement their core of Curry, Thompson, and Draymond Green.
Meanwhile, trading Simmons for Russell makes a lot of sense for the Sixers. Simmons may be establishing an impressive performance in the 2019-20 NBA season, averaging 14.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, 8.6 assists, and 2.2 steals while shooting 56.3 percent from the field. However, with his inability to knock down shots from beyond the arc, he’s clearly an odd fit alongside Joel Embiid, who is widely considered as the face of the Sixers’ franchise.
Russell would give the Sixers a true point guard who is also a very reliable scoring option and floor-spacer. At 23, Russell perfectly fits the timeline of Embiid. His potential arrival in the City of Brotherly Love would undeniably strengthen the Sixers’ chances of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and contending for the NBA championship title.
As of now, it remains a mystery whether there is an ongoing trade negotiation between the two NBA teams but the Russell-for-Simmons trade is undeniably one of the deals that are worth exploring for the Warriors and the Sixers before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline.