Just when the free agency window opened this Sunday, a promising looking trade offseason was kicked off in style. The Warriors announced that they had acquired the services of D’Angelo Russell via a sign-and-trade. But it seems the player may not be in the long term plans of the Warriors.
Warriors acquire Russell only for trade reasons
Marc Stein, on “The Dan Patrick Show” said that he was convinced that the Warriors only bought Russell for trade purposes. He said that Russell doesn’t really fit well in their team, and they acquired him just to ensure that Kevin Durant, arguably the best player in the league (when fit), doesn’t walk for free. Stein said it was just a matter of time before the Warriors trade Russell.
While the idea of Russell being on the move is exciting, Stein was keen to stress that the move won’t be happening right now. When asked what the Warriors will do with him- trade him mid-season or keep him for a full season before trading, Stein replied that Russell would first sign his contract when the moratorium period ends on July 6. Stein believes this is an interim move, while the injured Klay Thompson nurses back to full health.
“A short term move by the Warriors”
Stein added that this was a short-term move by the Warriors, with the franchise looking to protect themselves in the future with Thompson out for a good part of the season.
Warriors are intrigued with D'Angelo Russell at least for the next six months as a player and then a chip afterwards. Overall, the Warriors made moves on Sunday to help lower their payroll so they have more spending power to build around Steph, Klay & Draymond next summer. https://t.co/EKUeuzu2Xv
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) July 1, 2019
Thus, despite losing Durant and Thompson, Warriors can still stay competitive next season with the acquisition of D’Angelo Russell. While Russell can’t match their output, the trade was still better than the alternative- losing Durant for nothing.