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3 Teams that should trade for D'Angelo Russell | NBA Trade Deadline

  • With the February 6 trade deadline looming, multiple teams will be looking to bolster their roster.
Achyut Dubey
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 27 Jan 2020, 22:30 IST

The Warriors are arguably the worst team in the NBA this season
The Warriors are arguably the worst team in the NBA this season

With injuries to integral pieces like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Golden State Warriors have seen a tragic fall from grace this year. From being NBA Finalists to having the worst record in the NBA (10-37) at the moment, the Dubs have really seen it all in a matter of months.

This being said, their most recent addition in D'Angelo Russell has been the sole positive throughout their miserable run so far. Last summer, Golden State worked out a sign-and-trade with Brooklyn, bagging Russell to a four-year, $117 million max contract. The 23-year-old is shooting at a 36% clip from the three-point line and scoring at a career-high rate of 23.9 points per game, along with 6.3 assists.

However, his style of play has been projected to be non-cohesive in the future when Curry and Klay return to the lineup, and at times, lowers the ceiling of a unit’s defensive capabilities. The franchise could look to bargain for a first-round pick and/or a solid rotation player in exchange for Russell's services.

With the February 6 trade deadline looming, the Warriors need to look for ways to bolster the roster for the imminent return of the Splash brothers, and here are some potential destinations for D'Angelo Russell.


#1 Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota acquired Allen Crabbe from the Hawks in exchange for Jeff Teague and Treveon Graham
Minnesota acquired Allen Crabbe from the Hawks in exchange for Jeff Teague and Treveon Graham

According to latest reports per The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski and Shams Charania, the Minnesota Timberwolves are fueling efforts towards landing Russell. This falls in line with the fact that Russell and Minnesota's front office had a mutual attraction before the start of this season, and the 23-year-old had Timberwolves atop his free-agent wish list.

Despite attempting the third-most threes per game (39.0), Minnesota are amongst the worst teams in the NBA with a 32.4 three-point percentage. The inclusion of D'Angelo would help alleviate the T-Wolves' shooting woes to a huge extent, and might eventually lead to a playoff run when coupled with Karl Anthony-Towns.

The Timberwolves are currently 15-31 (0.326) this season (and 6-17 at home), and likely to miss the playoffs by a wide margin.


#2 New York Knicks

Knicks
Knicks' RJ Barrett will miss at least one week with a sprained right ankle.
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The New York Knicks have failed to take off in a major way despite their talented lineup and elevated ceiling. The team is currently 13-34 (0.277) to start their 2019-20 campaign and stands amongst the worst offensive and defensive squads in the league. Although much of the blame can be pinned on the part of the Knicks' management, the team has been disappointing in almost all aspects in the recent past.

While D'Angelo Russell is continuing on his upward arc individually, this might be the opportune moment for New York to streamline their efforts in his direction. Given the status quo, the franchise has tons of assets they can use to formulate an enticing package for Golden State.

With seven players that are 25 years of age or older, and Kevin Knox having been unimpressive this year as well, it is hard to picture any marked improvement for New York in the coming future.

Unlike Hawks and Warriors (who are also going through fairly rough seasons), the Knicks still need to secure their future in terms of superstar talent and picks, and Russell seems like a justified bargain for the ailing franchise. 


#3 Detroit Pistons

Griffin had his second knee surgery in eight months.
Griffin had his second knee surgery in eight months.

Although marred by injuries, the Detroit Pistons' season so far has been gravely disappointing. And a 17-30 (0.362) record so far means that some seismic changes are coming.

After Golden State traded Willie Cauley-Stein to the Dallas Mavericks, their frontcourt is in dire need of quality reinforcements. GSW could plan through their pick-and-roll schemes with Drummond, just like they have utilized JaVale McGee and Andrew Bogut in the past. And after leading the league in rebounding for the past four seasons, he could secure the paint for GSW and aid transition offense.

Moreover, a simple Drummond-for-Russell trade is financially viable, and he seems like an apt fit alongside Draymond Green, for a deep postseason run. The Warriors are unlikely to sign any free agent of Drummond's caliber in the coming offseason, and with Curry's return set for March 1, the Warriors would get some much-needed window to incorporate into their offensive and defensive schemes before waiting for 2020-21 to tipoff. Therefore, the case for a Drummond-to-Warriors trade can never be counted out.

Published 27 Jan 2020, 22:30 IST
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