Ever since D’Angelo Russell signed with the Golden State Warriors as part of the sign and trade, rumors have waged on when Russell will be traded.
The Golden State Warriors don’t need D’Angelo Russell. Russell won’t fit with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. All these sayings have been ringing the ears of Warrior fans the past month.
"Marc Stein informed Dan Patrick of Bleacher Report that “It’s just a matter of when” that the Dubs will trade the one time All-Star. Stein raised a good point however regarding Russell’s fit."
However, there seems to be a minimal concern because it isn’t uncharted territory for Golden State. Throughout the Dynasty years, the Dubs have managed to integrate All-Stars into Steve Kerr’s movement-based offense with relative ease.
As soon as Kevin Durant arrived, the Dubs faced similar questions and we all know how that turned out. Andre Iguodala was converted into a sixth man at the start of the Steve Kerr era and the Dubs even managed to adjust reasonably well to the addition of DeMarcus Cousins. Russell’s fit shouldn’t even be a question.
Throughout the dynasty, Stephen Curry has always looked to accommodate his fellow All-Stars as shown by the Durant days. Potentially speaking Curry could temporarily fulfill Klay Thompson’s spot-shooter role while Russell acts as a ball-handler his preferred role no less.
Perhaps most significantly is that the Warriors offense is evolving to adapt to their personnel. Russell’s best outlet of offense proved to be the pick and roll and the Dubs recently added Willie Cauley-Stein to operate as Russell’s partner. Which points to increased usage in 2019-20.
Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr stated on NBC Sports Bay Area’s “The Warriors Insider Podcast.” that he “can’t wait” to work with the former Brooklyn Net. “I’m anxious to get started with him and see how he’s going to play with Steph,” Kerr said. “We’ll probably run more pick-and-roll than we have in the past, given our change in personnel. But, I’m really excited to have him on board and can’t wait to coach him.”
It is hardly a surprise Coach Kerr speaks glowingly of the first time All-Star. Russell averaged a career-high 21.1 points and 7 assists for Brooklyn last season and without Thompson, the Dubs will likely need a similar contribution this season.
Russell’s playmaking may open Coach Kerr’s options even more. A duel point guard backcourt will enable Curry to play primarily off the ball and will not only alleviate the pressure of facilitating, but it will also enable Steph to just capitalize on catch-and-shoot opportunities. Adding Russell will only improve an offense that ranked first in assists per game in 2018-19.
"General Manager Bob Myers further echoed those sentiments by stating “we didn’t sign him just to trade him” while Myers further added to Anthony Slater that he wants to see how the team “jells” together with Russell."
D’Lo is only 23 years old but has already displayed the ability to lead a team to the postseason as the focal point of Brooklyn’s offense. Russell has upside on his side and could quite easily become a franchise star in the future.
Quite potentially Russell’s addition is the sign of roster evolution. For the majority of the dynasty years, the Dubs have been one of the oldest teams in the NBA and have focused on acquiring veterans. However, the Dubs have opted on a youthful approach this season and have an average age of 24.4 years.
Russell is the leader of the Dubs youthful pieces and has a golden chance to cement a spot in the Bay as Steph Curry’s new backcourt partner and perhaps as the Dubs franchise star in the future. Don’t bank on the Dubs trading him, folks.