Ok, we aren’t saying the Warriors will trade D’Angelo Russell. Let’s not start that again. They’ve noted multiple times that the team didn’t add him to trade him. However, that doesn’t mean he’s not the team’s most valuable trade asset.
While he signed a four-year max contract, Russell should live up the contract’s value. Averaging 21.1 points per game last season, Russell, at 23, earned his first All-Star appearance. He certainly would’ve been a coveted free agent as Brooklyn didn’t plan to retain the young guard.
The Warriors sign-and-trade with Brooklyn didn’t allow him on the market, which, for the Warriors sake, seemed like great return as Durant forced his way out. That said, Russell could be worth a good amount in the trade market given his age.
The more concerning part of Russell is his fit. Can he play unselfishly and still productively alongside superstars like Draymond Green and Stephen Curry? That’s a huge question mark as the team will begin training camp in just a few weeks.
Also, how will his play alter when Klay Thompson returns? Can that team make the playoffs? Can they make the Finals? If they can’t, it wouldn’t be a shocker to see them turn from Russell and find another young, talented asset like Bradley Beal.
That said, they’ll certainly be giving Russell every opportunity prior to dealing him.