The trade deadline is quickly creeping up less than two days away, which has put forth a great of attention of players that could be on the move. Among those is Golden State Warriors guard D’Angelo Russell, who is prominently being mentioned in trade chatter over the last few weeks. Russell‘s name in the rumor mill has garnered some steam in the past couple of days with the potential of him being moved to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
D’Angelo Russell’s stint with Warriors
Last offseason, the Warriors were one of the busier teams, making several months to alter their roster.
That was capped by completing a sign-and-trade deal with the Brooklyn Nets to acquire Russell to avoid a total loss with Kevin Durant departing in free agency. Although the Warriors inked him to a four-year, $117 million max deal, the chatter around his long-term future with the franchise has been question from the start.
Golden State added another ball-dominant guard that makes it hard to envision him fitting smoothly alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. The Warriors have been plagued by injuries this season that has seen Curry and Thompson out for long stretches, which has put Russell in a more prominent offensive role.
The 23-year-old is leading the team with 23.8 points and 6.3 assists while shooting 43.3% from the floor and 38.3% from beyond the arc. Russell has dealt with nagging injuries playing in just 32 of the possible 51 games so far this season.
With the Warriors continuing to struggle, it has put Russell in the thick of the trade chatter that has linked him heavily to the Timberwolves.
How D’Angelo Russell could wind up with Timberwolves
The Timberwolves have had their eyes on the Warriors All-Star point guard over the last several weeks.
The chatter has ramped up another notch on Tuesday, with Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reporting that Minnesota is trying to get Golden State included in a possible four-team trade.
The Timberwolves, Rockets and Hawks have the assets to fulfill some of each team’s goals: forward Robert Covington to Houston, center Clint Capela to the Hawks and potentially two first-round picks and an expiring contract to Minnesota, league sources said.
For Minnesota, those potential draft assets could be useful in talks with Golden State on a Russell trade or elsewhere in deals at the trade deadline or in the offseason.
There is some significant interest on the Timberwolves’ behalf to land Russell, which could go a long way in helping appease their All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns. It’s well known that the two have built a strong bond off the court during their brief time in the league.
Minnesota appears to be more than willing to send the assets to Golden State, but their main desire is to garner financial flexibility in any deal. That could be the breaking point in whether this trade could have any real legs before the trade deadline.
There is some mutual interest there that could make things work, but it’s still a significant hurdle to climb over given all the loose ends that could arise with that many teams involved.
What will the Warriors do with D’Angelo Russell?
The Warriors hold the final say in this matter as the team is in a tight spot in this situation.
Golden State may have brought him with the possibility of being used as a trade piece down the line, but there was also the potential to see if he could fit in their star-studded backcourt. The team may be in the midst of a disappointing campaign, but Curry is expected to make his return in March.
The Warriors could hold onto Russell to see how the pairing of him alongside Curry works this season. That would give them a bigger sample size for them to get a better feel for the situation, which could see them move him in the offseason. The Timberwolves could remain a prominent landing spot when that time arises then as well.
That said, what the Warriors decide to do with Russell before the trade deadline will indicate what they think about his future with the franchise.