The Golden State Warriors acquired D'Angelo Russell on Sunday in a sign-and-trade deal that resulted in Kevin Durant relocating to Brooklyn to play for the Nets. It was then revealed Monday that the team was planning on turning around and dealing Russell elsewhere sooner rather than later, according to Marc Stein. If they were to do so, they would have to come to an agreement to send Russell elsewhere before the trade becomes official on July 6, otherwise they will be forced to wait until January.
Overall, it’s a smart move by Bob Myers and Co. up in the Bay Area. They expected to lose Durant for nothing, and instead got Russell in return, and can now auction him off to the highest bidder. Given he’s a 23-year-old point guard coming off his first All-Star game, the bidding should be quite competitive indeed. Here are three potential teams that Golden State could come to a deal with for Russell’s services.
The Wolves had the best odds of landing Russell before the news broke he would be traded to Golden State, and they remain the best trade partner. They have a need at point guard and for another creator outside of franchise superstar Karl Anthony-Towns. Russell is a pure scorer who can space the floor and make plays for himself when the offense breaks down. Even better, he’s the same age as Towns, and they’re apparently pretty good friends.
Overall, Minnesota presents the best combination of fit, need, and timeline for Russell. The question is what they’d be forced to give up in exchange. They’d likely be willing to give up a heavily-protected first-round pick, but their biggest contracts they’d use to make the numbers work on a trade belong to Andrew Wiggins and Gorgui Dieng, who the Warriors probably wouldn’t have a lot of interest in. Still, Steve Kerr could see a reclamation project in Wiggins, who has never been short on potential.
The Heat have a lot of their own cap issues, and are currently in the middle of struggling to complete a sign-and-trade deal for Jimmy Butler. Even after they presumably get that sorted, they’ll still have a handful of decent players who are drastically overpaid- the perfect kind of player for the Warriors to take back in a Russell trade.