Since the 2019 NBA offseason, rumors have been continuously swirling around All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell and his future with the Golden State Warriors. Though he could somehow provide the star power the Warriors lost when Kevin Durant left in the 2019 NBA free agency, the emergence of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson made Russell an odd fit in Golden State. The Warriors may continue to insist that they intend to keep Russell long-term, but it doesn’t stop some NBA teams from expressing interest in adding the former No. 2 overall pick to their roster.
In the past months, several NBA teams have already been linked to Russell, including the Orlando Magic. In most hypothetical trade deals that would send Russell to Orlando, Aaron Gordon emerged as the centerpiece of the Magic’s trade package. However, though he would be an intriguing fit alongside the Warriors’ core of Curry, Thompson, and Draymond Green, Sam Amick of The Athletic revealed that Golden State is unlikely to swap Russell for Gordon.
“A source with knowledge of the Warriors’ thinking deems it ‘unlikely’ (D’Angelo Russell) will be moved,” Amick wrote, as quoted by Yahoo Sports. “And for those Magic fans who have been hoping for an (Aaron) Gordon-for-Russell swap, another source with knowledge of the Warriors’ dealings offered a hard ‘no’ when asked specifically about that scenario.”
Gordon may be capable of filling the hole Durant left on the Warriors’ wing, but it is easy to understand why Golden State is not interested in trading Russell for him. Aside from the noticeable decline in Gordon’s statistics in the 2019-20 NBA season, the Warriors have bigger plans for Russell. As mentioned in a previous The Inquisitr article, the Warriors could be looking to use Russell as the main trade chip to acquire a “close to max-level guy” in the summer of 2020.
The Warriors indeed have the power to go after a “close to max-level guy” or even a superstar in the 2020 NBA offseason. Aside from Russell, the Warriors also have another very intriguing trade asset in their hands – their own 2020 first-round pick. With their current performance in the 2019-20 NBA season, the Warriors have a strong chance of getting a lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
A trade package including Russell and the Warriors’ 2020 first-round pick would undeniably be enough to convince NBA teams who have unhappy superstars on their roster to engage in a blockbuster deal next summer. Some of the potential trade targets for the Warriors include Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers.