We’re just a little more than a week away from the arrival of D’Angelo Russell Day for the Warriors and the rest of the league. As of December 15, Golden State will be allowed under NBA rules to trade away Russell, who came to the Warriors last summer as part of the sign-and-trade that sent Kevin Durant to Brooklyn.
Executives around the league have operated under the assumption, since the Durant-Russell deal went through in July, that the Warriors would flip Russell as a trade asset, probably as soon as possible. “It’s just going to come down to when they want to do it,” one exec told Heavy.com. “Could do it now. Could do it later. But they’ll do it.”
Yet as December 15 looms, the Warriors have been decidedly quiet on the Russell trade market, according to sources around the league.
“If it is something that they’re going to do quickly, like before the end of this month, I wouldn’t say they’re pushing for it,” one general manager said. “Maybe they have a deal in mind, maybe they’re sitting on something and laying low. But I’d be surprised. That’s not how they’d approach it, I’d think. You want to create a market if you are going to trade a player like him, you want to pit teams against each other, drive up the price. You don’t want to lock into one deal. But the market thing, that’s not really happening yet. They’re not pushing the market for him.”
Russell has played well this season, even if it is for a woeful Warriors team that looks nothing like the bunch Golden State expected. He’s struggled to stay healthy, most recently dealing with a finger injury from which he returned on Wednesday, but in the 11 games he’s played, he has averaged 23.7 points on a 45.8 percent shooting, getting to the free-throw line 5.5 times per game—all career-highs.