Securing a current and future asset
There are many things that an ideal trade for Russell would contain, but one of them is a combination of a better current fit and a promising future asset. Given who Russell is and how bright his future is, that doesn’t seem like too much in return.
The Spurs have both players and need to do a deal for Russell.
However, after this deal is over, the Spurs would be left with an interesting Big 3. LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan and D’Angelo Russell are about as unique of a Big 3 as they come. They’d still have up-and-coming star Derrick White as well.
That said, they’d give their other promising guard to Golden State. This is only unlikely because the Spurs love both Murray and Gay. Re-signing Gay this offseason, he thrived in San Antonio, averaging 13.7 points on a career-high 50.4% from the field.
As for Murray, he’s the main target in this deal.
Although missing all of last season, the 22-year-old averaged 8.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Defensively, he’s superior to Russell, and offensively, his performance should see significant improvement this season.
Oddly enough, many will think this deal would be too one-sided for Golden State.