D'Angelo Russell Trade Rumors: Warriors 'Listening to Pitches' for Star PG

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2020

Golden State Warriors' D'Angelo Russell (0) passes as Cleveland Cavaliers' Darius Garland (10) watches in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in Cleveland.  (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

The Golden State Warriors are reportedly "listening to pitches" involving guard D'Angelo Russell leading up to Thursday's deadline.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported the news, noting "many thought the Warriors would wait until draft time to seriously ponder" such a move. He pointed to the Minnesota Timberwolves as a possible suitor who "wants D-Lo badly" and noted Golden State could also trade Alec Burks or Glenn Robinson III.

The Athletic's Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski later reported, "Minnesota is believed to have drawn a line in the sand in any Russell trade talks with the Warriors, that being an unwillingness to part with its unprotected 2020 first-round pick."

Charania and Krawczynski also noted a source said, "There is a deal to be had here, but something would have to give."

This is not the first time Russell's name has been mentioned in trade rumors.

In fact, The Athletic's Marcus Thompson II cited a source in January who talked about the Warriors potentially moving Russell in a deal that brought them back Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons.

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"Some believe the pairing of Simmons and big man Joel Embiid isn't viable in their pursuit of a championship," Thompson wrote. "Simmons, as one source told me, is probably the best player the Warriors could possibly get for Russell, just considering the needs of the Warriors and their potential trade partners."

Russell signed a four-year, $117 million contract with the Warriors this offseason after they acquired him from the Brooklyn Nets. He is averaging 23.8 points, 6.3 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game this season behind 38.3 percent shooting from three-point range.

Golden State is in something of a strange position leading into the trade deadline.

It is not competing for a championship at 11-39, but it also is not in rebuild mode since much of its struggles can be tied to the injuries of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry. It could be ready to battle for a championship as soon as next season when the dynamic guards return, especially if it adds a quality piece or two through free agency, trades or the draft.

Russell is a talented guard who can handle the ball, attack the basket and hit from deep, but there is some redundancy between him and the Splash Brothers.

It isn't difficult to envision him helping the Warriors in the playoffs next season, but they are apparently open to trading him in an effort to bolster their stock if the right deal presents itself.

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