The Golden State Warriors are reportedly holding off on trading guard D'Angelo Russell until they see how he may fit into their future plans.
According to Wes Goldberg of the Mercury News, Golden State's decision-makers specifically want to get eyes on Russell and Stephen Curry in the backcourt together, but they have been unable to do so with Curry missing all but four games this season with a broken hand.
Since the trade deadline is Thursday and Curry is not expected back until the beginning of March at the earliest, that likely means Russell is staying put for the remainder of this season at least.
The Warriors acquired Russell from the Brooklyn Nets during the offseason as part of a sign-and-trade deal that sent Kevin Durant to Brooklyn.
Russell was named an All-Star for the first time last season, and the expectation was that his addition would at least help keep the Warriors in the playoff race alongside Curry and Draymond Green even with Klay Thompson on the shelf due to a torn ACL.
Golden State has been ravaged by injuries to key players this season, however, including both Curry and Russell. While Russell has been on the floor far more than Curry, various ailments have caused him to miss 18 games.
Russell has been productive when healthy with a career-high 23.8 points and 3.8 three-pointers made per game to go along with 6.3 assists and 3.7 rebounds. Statistically, Russell has essentially been a lite version of Curry.
Given the absence of Curry and Thompson, the departure of Durant and Russell's inability to stay healthy, though, the Warriors are an NBA-worst 11-39.
They have already dealt Willie Cauley-Stein to the Dallas Mavericks, and Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that they are expected to trade at least one of Glenn Robinson III or Alec Burks before Thursday's deadline.
The Warriors are gathering assets with an eye toward next season when they will conceivably have a healthy core of Curry, Thompson, Green and Russell along with one of the top picks in the 2020 NBA draft.
That combination should put them back in the playoff mix and perhaps even make them championship contenders again after reaching five consecutive NBA Finals entering this season.
If Curry returns this season and finally gets some court time with Russell, the Warriors will have a better idea of whether Russell is a good fit or if they should flip him to fill a need elsewhere.
Since Russell is signed through the 2022-23 season, he will likely still have a strong market during the offseason, so there is no harm in the Warriors taking a wait-and-see approach.