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Warriors Rumors: D'Angelo Russell Part of Long-Term Plans Despite Trade Rumors

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 2, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: D'Angelo Russell #0 of the Golden State Warriors poses for a portrait during media day on September 30, 2019 at the Biofreeze Performance Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Noah Graham/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors appear intent on building around D'Angelo Russell instead of dealing him.

"There's a strong possibility that the Warriors actually want their newest big acquisition for seasons beyond this one," Ethan Strauss of The Athletic reported Wednesday. "Their front-office leaders, Joe Lacob and Bob Myers both, are as smitten with him as any team that just selected a top-five player in the draft."

The Warriors handed Russell a four-year, $117.3 million deal as part of a sign-and-trade with the Brooklyn Nets in July.

The guard could replace some of the lost production resulting from Kevin Durant's departure. Russell will also be key until Klay Thompson recovers from his torn ACL, which won't be until at least the All-Star break.

There was plenty of speculation the Warriors would deal Russell once Thompson is back to 100 percent, though another trade doesn't appear to be in the plans.

"We didn't sign him with the intention of just trading him," general manager Myers said in July, per Logan Murdock of NBC Sports Bay Area. "We haven't even seen him play in our uniform yet, and a lot of people have us already trading him. That's not how we're viewing it."

It appears that mindset hasn't changed.

"Right or wrong, [owner] Lacob and Myers are invested in Russell's future here," Strauss wrote.

The 23-year-old is coming off the best year of his career, having averaged 21.1 points and 7.0 assists while making his first All-Star team. If he continues to improve, it could help Golden State's strategy pay off.

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