The Golden State Warriors are in a very interesting spot heading into the 2020 NBA Trade Deadline on Feb. 6. They are no longer the toast of the Western Conference and are on a collision course for the NBA Draft Lottery. With great odds to land the No. 1 pick, Golden State has every incentive to try and add assets now to reload for another dynasty once Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are healthy again. GM Bob Myers has told the media the Warriors don’t have plans of trading D’Angelo Russell right now. So it appears D’Lo will stay in Oakland at least until this offseason. Things change, however, and a perfect offer could sway the Dubs to part with Russell. Here, we’ll take a look at three potential landing spots for the budding guard before or after the deadline.
The T-Wolves have already shipped out Jeff Teague to the Hawks to shed his $19 million salary. Minnesota was reportedly moving Teague in order to make a run at D’Angelo Russell, though those rumors have cooled down. Robert Covington and Gorgui Dieng are two players who could be next to go in Minny. Covington is a valuable asset to a contender, but is under contract until 2021-22 and is making around $12 million per season. Dieng is a bit easier to move consider he’d be an expiring next season, but is also making more at $16.7 million per year. Allen Crabbe’s $18.5 million salary would also need to be included to make any deal work.
That’s a lot of logistics, but the T-Wolves have some assets that are enticing, including what could be a high lottery pick in 2020 and youngsters Jarrett Culver and Josh Okogie. The picks are the big ticket item here, though. Minnesota could end up with a top 5 pick and have decent odds at No. 1 overall. It’s a weaker draft, but that’s got to get the Dubs attention. D’Lo would create a solid Big 3 in Minnesota with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
This would essentially be a 1-for-1 with Russell and Kevin Love. The salaries nearly match up, so if the Dubs send back any of Glenn Robinson III, Jacob Evans, Omari Spellman or Jordan Poole, the trade works out fine. So not a lot of logistical hurdles to get over here.
Looking at the long-term scope, it doesn’t make as much sense for the Cavaliers. They have both Darius Garland and Collin Sexton in the back court. My thinking here is the Cavs could add a more proven scorer and try to find a new home for somebody like Sexton, who is a shoot-first PG and is really more of a SG or combo guard anyway. Sexton probably doesn’t get better than Russell in his NBA career. Cleveland can focus on a back court of D’Lo and Garland, while trying to figure out what to do in the front court.
Love would be thrilled to join the Dubs, I imagine. He’d fit in perfectly with Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green. One of the premier rebounding bigs who can stretch the floor in the NBA getting added to the Splash Bros AND a potential top 5 pick in 2020 is scary. Golden State may have to make some adjustments next season when Dray’s extension kicks in, but that’s something if you’re Myers, you make it work for a lineup of Curry, Klay, Damion Lee, Love and Draymond.
I’ve seen other outlets throwing around the similar idea of a 1-for-1 with the Pistons for Andre Drummond. Again, the salaries matchup up even better with Detroit than Cleveland for Love in this scenario. Really, it’s just looking at whether the Warriors would want to bring in something they’ve won without for the past five seasons or so: A traditional center.
I kind of think this could work out, to be honest. Sure, Drummond isn’t the ideal center for this team — he doesn’t stretch the floor and would slow down the pace a bit. But Steve Kerr is a great coach and I’d imagine he’d be able to make a front line of Drummond and Green turn into a defensive juggernaut. You wouldn’t lack much scoring or shooting considering you still have arguably the two best 3-point shooters in NBA history in Steph and Klay. Drummond is only under contract for another season, so the Dubs could reload with Drumm and a lottery pick for a run at a title in 2020-21, they reassess things for the future.