No one in the Golden State Warriors organization wants to trade D’Angelo Russell, but they also don’t want to miss out on a loaded 2021 free agency class.
The Golden State Warriors will have tough roads ahead. They’ll be putting their future in the hands of D’Angelo Russell. There’s no denying the 23-year-old is one of the league’s best guards, especially given his age.
Russell averaged 21.1 points per game last season, just his fourth in the league. After spending two seasons with the Lakers, they moved on. The Nets moved on after just two seasons with Russell as well, trying to build a superteam with Kyrie Irving at the helm in Brooklyn.
Now, the Warriors will inherit Russell, who has bounced around from the West Coast to East Coast and not back to the West Coast. How will Russell respond to the continually changing environment?
Well, if his goal is to stay in the Bay Area long-term, he must thrive. He needs to leave no question that he can take this team into the future as one of the most dominant in the NBA. If not, the Warriors could quickly move on.
Again, there’s no desire to trade Russell yet.
However, the Warriors have made themselves a premier team for free agents. Their culture, their personnel and now their brand-new Chase Center help cater to all the desires of a player seeking a fresh home.
That player could be Bradley Beal or Giannis Antetekounmpo in 2021. Even Kawhi Leonard will be up for a new contract. The only way the Warriors are going to realistically be able to get in on that period will be by dealing D’Angelo Russell.
Trading Russell would bring endless possibilities, including multiple high-level picks and team-friendly contracts. It would also allow them the cap space to bring in a free agent in that stacked Class of 2021.
Would you take a first-round pick, a defensive-minded small forward and a chance at Giannis for Russell? There are so many variables there as to which small forward and what the chance are of actually securing a player seemingly happy where he is.
Nonetheless, if the Warriors want their next big free-agent signing, it’ll only be made possible by trading a superstar. It doesn’t matter if it’s Klay Thompson, Draymond Green or D’Angelo Russell. If we’re honest though, trading the first two will never even be considered.