D’Angelo Russell a second pick of 2015 Draft is one of the most exiting rising stars in NBA currently. Russell started his career at Lakers with two solid seasons being a Lakers point guard, but however when Lakers became favorites for signing LeBron James they decided to trade Russell along with Russian center Mozgov for Brook Lopez, mostly to get rid of the terrible contract the Russian had and to clear cap space for big name signing. A huge mistake!
D’Angelo played 2 seasons for Nets and became an All Star player. Yes, he is coming from career season in which he averaged 21 PTS, 7 AST and 2 triples made per game, which made him the second youngest player ever to do that behind only Allen Iverson. Except that, he is the youngest player ever that scored 1500 PTS, 200 3s made and 500 AST in a single season.
Since an impressive season he got himself a for-year $117M maximum contract with Brooklyn Nets and GSW agreeing a sign and trade deal that brought him to Oakland. There were rumors that he will be traded immediately but Warriors general manager Myers said that they have no intention of trading him. With the start of the new season, Warriors lost Durant, Thompson is injured for a season, Stephen Curry broke his arm after few games, now everything seems that their season is already over. As Draymond Green signed a new contract starting from 2020, the rumors about trading Russell are back again. It is believed that Warriors will be unwilling to keep 4 different players with at least $25M so trade deal for Russell could be on the table sooner or later.
Potential trade destinations for Russell:
-New York Knicks
This team was expected to bring at least two maximum contract players after terrible few seasons. Instead of that they signed mostly average players on a season or two contracts and are starting to rebuild. New York is the town that everyone wants to be. With a rising star like Julius Randle which Russell knows very well back from Lakers days, Knicks can lead for a trade deal pairing this two former team mates again together and build around them.
Bulls has a well formed young core, they are in a rebuilding process and adding a star to their roster like D’Angelo will be a fine move for them. Zach LaVine development has been so far so good but he needs to do much better to be an All Star. Along with Markkanen and adding Russell they can form a future big three. Bulls can offer Otto Porter with his $28M contract and get rid of him along with few draft picks which will be certainly be asked by Warriors .
Kings general manager Vlade Divac traded Cousins when he was probably the best big man in the NBA in that moment. Maybe it was a smart move, maybe not but after that Divac appears to be one of the worst managers with absolutely no idea and vision. Trading for Russell may be a good idea with so many players and picks could be offered in exchange. A young core of Russell, Fox and Bogdanovic can be promising in future.
It is very possible Warriors to stick with Russell and to give him the role Durant had back in their glory days. Russell is only 23 years old and he is definitely going to improve. Sticking to him and healthy “splash brothers” and Green and their huge contracts with signing solid veterans may lead Warriors back to the throne very soon.
Author : Aleksandar Brajkovski