The Golden State Warriors swooped in with a deal to get D’Angelo Russell, but they may not keep him very long.
The Brooklyn Nets signing Kyrie Irving meant D’Angelo Russell would be gone, and late Sunday night ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Golden State Warriors had a deal to acquire Russell as part of a sign-and-trade that would formally send Kevin Durant to the Nets.
But Russell may never wear a Warriors’ uniform. Appearing on The Dan Patrick Show Monday morning, Marc Stein of the New York Times pointed to a strained fit for Russell in Golden State.
Via Dan Patrick Show contributor Andrew Perloff, quoting Stein directly.
“D’Angelo Russell does not fit there whatsoever,” “They just did not want to see Kevin Durant walk out the door with no compensation. … They will trade him. It’s just a matter of when.”
The Warriors have agreed to sign Russell to a four-year, $117 million contract, and they’ll also get guards Shabazz Napier and Treveon Graham from Brooklyn in the reported deal.
Beyond the 2019-20 season, Russell’s fit with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson can be questioned. But with Thompson all but certain to miss the entire season as he works his way back from a torn ACL, Russell should be able to function well playing with Curry. So the idea Russell will be immediately flipped feels aggressive.
However, it’s possible Golden State entered the fray for Russell with a follow-up move (or particularly players on another roster) in mind. The Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers were at the front of the line with interest in Russell. Minnesota, in particular, was rumored to be professing behind the scenes that they had a pathway to getting him, despite a lack of cap space. A reasonable assumption can be made that a third team would need to be involved for the Warriors to actually flip Russell to the Timberwolves or Lakers.
With all of that, if the Wolves or Lakers thought they lost out on Russell there may be a second chance to get him.
Just don’t bet on it happening so quickly, and Dec. 15 would linger as a possibility on the “it’s just a matter of when” timeline Stein referred to regarding when Russell will be traded.