Warriors' D'Angelo Russell: 'I Don't Care' About Trade Rumors Amid Max Contract

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 9: D'Angelo Russell #0 of the Golden State Warriors looks on during a game against the Memphis Grizzlies on December 9, 2019 at Chase 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 Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
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D'Angelo Russell has been subjected to trade rumors since joining the Golden State Warriors on a max contract this past offseason, but he's not letting the outside noise distract him.

Russell made it clear to The Athletic's Anthony Slater that he doesn't waste time worrying about things beyond his control:

"I just don't care (about the buzz). Simple as that. I just don't care. When you say max contract to come in and learn from these guys as much as you can as quick as you can—because you don't know when you'll be gone, shipped out—that's what I'm doing. I can't control that. I can't control if Bob Myers is like, yo, let's go get such and such for this and make this pick. That's his job. I can't control it or say anything about it, especially if I'm a part of it. So I don't waste energy worrying about it."

Golden State acquired Russell—a restricted free agent—as part of a sign-and-trade after two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant joined the Brooklyn Nets. An All-Star last season, Russell received a four-year, $117 million max contract in the deal.

With Russell in the mix, the Warriors have four players on max contracts: Russell, Stephen Curry (five years, $201 million), Klay Thompson (five years, $190 million) and Draymond Green (four years, $100 million). As a result, they have little financial flexibility.

The Russell acquisition hard-capped Golden State, which has made it near-impossible for the team to overcome injuries to Russell, Curry and Thompson this season.

Adding Russell meant the Warriors did not lose Durant for nothing. From the moment the deal was completed, there were rumors that Golden State had brought the guard onboard with the intention of flipping him at some point.

However, head coach Steve Kerr said in August that he envisioned a scenario in which Golden State could see Curry, Thompson and Russell all on the court together in the future:

"The biggest thing will be playing on and off the ball. D'Angelo is a great pick-and-roll player, obviously so is Steph, they’re going to both start in the backcourt together. When Klay comes back, I would imagine all three of them would start...I don't think we’ll have a problem."

The NBA's collective bargaining agreement prevents teams from trading players signed as free agents during the offseason until a certain point in the regular season. This year's date falls on Dec. 15, which means the Warriors could make a move involving Russell as early as Sunday.

Russell is averaging 22.0 points on 43.3 percent shooting, including 35.2 percent from beyond the arc, and has also added 6.2 assists and 3.7 rebounds.

The 23-year-old has been limited to 13 games this season as he has dealt with ankle and thumb injuries.