The REAL Reason Why The Warriors NEED D'Angelo Russell (Ft. NBA Free Agency, Curry, Shot Making)
D’Angelo Russell is on the Warriors through a sign and trade in this NBA Free Agency. The Warriors might trade him, but D’Angelo is perfect with Curry and the Warriors. #NBA #Warriors #D’Angelo
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The Warriors don’t stay down. When they lost in 2016, they got Kevin Durant. Now when Kevin Durant was walking from the Warriors in free agency, they somehow were able to reload and D Lo out of that. I literally think the Warriors are playing MyLeague in 2K. Now there are reports of the Warriors looking to trade Russell for solid role players. But the Warriors should keep D’Angelo Russell so let’s break all this down.
D’Angelo Russell is an All-Star point guard who just averaged 21.1 points and 7 assists in 30 minutes a game and get this, he’s only 23 years old. He was just sign-and traded with a 4 year $117 million dollar contract.
There’s a lot of talk about Curry and D’Angelo not being able to coexist because of redundancies, because both are star point guards and Russell has been ball dominant. But let’s look at some of the problems the Warriors have. This is not the same 2015-2016 team without Durant.
It’s something the Warriors lack when Curry is not on the floor. Keep in mind that Klay Thompson will be out for most of the season and that they traded Andre Iguodala and now you have a Warriors team that has no shot creators besides Curry. Russell’s not super quick, but he has great spatial awareness, knowing where the defense and offensive players are positioned. Like I said with Kawhi, DLo is also does things in “slow motion” waiting for defender’s feet to open up especially that in between the leg dribble and being in control of what he wants to do.
On all catch and shoot 3s, DLo shot 39.4%. This means he can be a floor spacer that can help draw some of the attention away from Curry and Klay when he returns.
Also, almost 50% D’Angelo Russell’s offensive possessions involved a pick and roll. Instead of having to rely on a Curry and Green pick and roll, you get a Russell-Green pick and roll in which Russell can pick apart the defense and kick it to a Draymond Green who can make a play from inside the paint.
There’s also the upside that Dlo can get hot at any moment and become a guy who is just unstoppable. We’ve seen DLo light teams up no matter how many defenders are thrown at him like the 27 point fourth quarter. We’ve also seen him be clutch and have ice in his veins. He averaged 3.1 points in the clutch off of 45% shooting from the field. For reference, Durant averaged 3.4 points off 41% shooting in clutch last season while Curry averaged 3.9 points off 47% shooting.
While he hasn’t shown much off-ball prowess, you could figure that he could would be ingratiated in the Warriors offense. Players like Kevin Durant adjusted to the Warriors free-flow offense. Durant was also a ball dominant, heavy iso player before he joined the Warriors. With a guy like DLo, Stephen Curry will return to being the clear number 1 option, but that doesn’t mean he is a stranger to sharing the ball. and with a guy like Stephen Curry, Russell can learn a lot of tactics and skills. I think the thing we forget the most about D’Angelo Russell is that he’s only 23. Curry consistently has been one of the best finishers in the league, finishing top 5 in field goal percentage in the paint among all players. And he’s shown to be a super saiyan, when teams kick him to the dirt, he only gets stronger. While he is 6’ 5” with a 6’ 10” wingspan, Russell has not been good defensively. He has the tools to do it and like I said, being around Klay Thompson might help him pick up some techniques.
Trading Russell would mean either getting back $28 million dollars in salary or trading to a team that has cap along with strong role players on cheaper contracts. Now remember, the Warriors also traded Andre Iguodala away to clear cap space to facilitate the D’Angelo Russell sign and trade. And don’t tell me Andrew Wiggins is an equivalent piece for a trade, cause he’s not. So for what the Warriors have lost, I’m not sure how much they could really get back from a single team to help right now. Keep in mind that Curry is still in his prime years and Klay will be coming back later this season. Curry is a generational talent and so the Warriors obviously want to have great players right now. DLo provides an all-star talent right now while also being a future piece that grows. I know DLo is not perfect, but for his upside and what he has shown he can bring along with the fact that he’s only 23 years old that help them win now, the Warriors need to keep him. But what do you think? Should the Warriors keep DLo? How far can they go with Russell?