D'Angelo Russell

Warriors Notes: Russell, Iguodala, Robertson, Smailagic

It took less than 24 hours after D’Angelo Russell had agreed to join the Warriors via sign-and-trade for the trade speculation to begin. Marc Stein of The New York Times suggested during a July 1 radio appearance that Russell isn’t a long-term fit in Golden State, adding that it’s “just a matter of when” – not “if” – he’ll be dealt.

Speaking to reporters, including Nick Friedell of ESPN, on Monday for the first time as a Warrior, Russell acknowledged that a trade is a possibility at some point down the road (he can’t be dealt until at least December 15). However, D-Lo didn’t make it sound as if he’ll be stressing about that scenario.

“That’s the business of it,” Russell said. “It is what it is. You put yourself in a position to go somewhere for a long period of time, and it may not be what it is a year later. And that’s the business. I’ve come to a realization of that, and I understand that, so whatever situation I’m in, I know the business side of it, so we’ll just see. I can’t predict it.”

For now, Russell slots in next to Stephen Curry in what should be a dynamic Warriors’ starting backcourt. It will be interesting how the team manages its lineup when longtime shooting guard Klay Thompson is ready to return from his torn ACL later in the 2019/20 season.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • In their press release confirming the trade that sent Andre Iguodala to Memphis, the Warriors also announced that they plan on retiring Iguodala’s No. 9. “He has been absolutely vital to our success during five consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals and three championships,” team owner Joe Lacob said of Iguodala. “We thank Andre for all of his contributions and look forward to seeing his number in the rafters at Chase Center.”
  • The Warriors are hiring Theo Robertson to fill a player development opening on their coaching staff, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Robertson played college ball at Cal in the late 2000s and has since held jobs with the Warriors, Lakers, and his alma mater. He’ll replace Willie Green, who joined Monty Williams‘ staff in Phoenix.
  • In an in-depth article for The Mercury News, Mark Medina explores how the Warriors first discovered young big man Alen Smailagic, how he impressed the team, and why management fully believes in his potential. The 39th overall pick officially signed his first NBA contract this week, as we relayed earlier today.

Nets, Warriors Complete Durant, Russell Sign-And-Trade

JULY 8: The first-round pick going to Brooklyn in the deal is the Warriors’ 2020 pick, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic, who tweets that it will be top-20 protected. If it falls in that range – and it very well could, given Golden State’s roster changes – the Nets would instead receive the Warriors’ 2025 second-round pick, per Scotto.

JULY 7: The Nets and Warriors have officially completed the sign-and-trade deal that sends Kevin Durant and a protected 2020 first-round pick to Brooklyn in exchange for D’Angelo Russell, Treveon Graham, and Shabazz Napier, the two teams announced in a pair of press releases.

“Kevin is a champion, perennial All-Star and one of the great players of this, or any, generation,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement. “Adding a player of Kevin’s caliber to our organization elevates our ability to compete with the elite teams in this league. His tremendous abilities and dedication to his craft have made him as talented an offensive player our game has ever seen and we, as well as all of Brooklyn, are thrilled to welcome Kevin and his family to the Nets.”

Durant initially agreed to sign with the Nets outright using their cap room, but the Warriors engaged them in discussions last Sunday night and eventually agreed to a deal that would include a pair of sign-and-trades — Durant to Brooklyn and D’Angelo Russell to Golden State. Russell, a restricted free agent, became expendable when the Nets finalized agreements with Durant and Kyrie Irving.

“We’re excited to add a player of D’Angelo’s ability to our roster,” Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers said in his team’s announcement. “He’s coming off an All-Star season with the Nets and we feel, at the age of 23, his best basketball is certainly ahead of him in regards to his career trajectory.”

In order to incentivize the Nets to accommodate the Russell sign-and-trade, the Warriors sent a future draft pick to Brooklyn, and will also take on Graham and Napier — those two players will be flipped to Minnesota in a subsequent deal.

Durant, who is recovering from a torn Achilles, isn’t expected to be ready to return until the 2020/21 season, but the Nets have him the long-term — he reportedly agreed to a four-year contract (with a fourth-year player option) that will be worth the maximum salary, or possibly slightly below it to accommodate DeAndre Jordan‘s deal with the club.

Meanwhile, the Warriors will be hard-capped at $138.9MM as a result of acquiring Russell via sign-and-trade, which will limit their ability to make roster moves during the 2019/20 league year. The club already had to send Andre Iguodala and his $17MM+ salary to Memphis in a cost-cutting measure.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Western Notes: Russell, Suns, Beverley, Kings, Rivers, Blazers

The Timberwolves, led by D’Angelo Russell‘s close friend Karl-Anthony Towns, were confident about their ability to get a commitment from Russell in free agency and went into their Sunday meeting with him ready to make the trades necessary to make a deal work, sources tell Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Minnesota was just waiting for the green light from D-Lo to move forward on those trades, but the All-Star point guard instead opted to join the Warriors.

The Suns were viewed as a team that might try to get into the mix for Russell, who has another good friend – Devin Booker – in Phoenix. However, despite Booker’s campaign, Phoenix chose not to pursue the RFA guard, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. According to Rankin, the Suns “apparently felt Russell wouldn’t have been a good influence on Booker off the court.”

The Warriors, with their veteran leaders, apparently had no such qualms about D-Lo, who – by all accounts – matured considerably during his time in Brooklyn.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • After agreeing to sign a three-year, $40MM deal with the Clippers, Patrick Beverley tells Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times that he turned down a more lucrative offer from the Kings to return to L.A. “I got a bigger offer from Sacramento and I took $9-10 million less to come here,” Beverley said. “… It was the right decision. Of course, the human part of you wants to take as much money as you see, but all money isn’t good money. I did what was best for me and my family and I did what was best to stay on a winning team, and I feel like I made the right decision.”
  • Despite Beverley’s comments, Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link) hears that the Kings offered the veteran guard a guaranteed total of $35MM over three years, with a partial guarantee in year three. Theoretically, it’s possible that Beverley’s claim could still be accurate if that third-year partial guarantee was very small and he’s including the non-guaranteed money as part of Sacramento’s bid.
  • Before he agreed to return to the Rockets for the veteran’s minimum, Austin Rivers had offers in the range of the $5.7MM taxpayer mid-level exception, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. “Now that the league is wide open, I just saw an opportunity,” Rivers said. “You can’t really put a price on happiness. The goal was to come back to Houston all along. I think we have the team to beat.”
  • The Trail Blazers have announced Terry Stotts‘ coaching staff for the upcoming season, with Nate Tibbetts replacing David Vanterpool as the team’s associate head coach. Portland has also promoted Jim Moran to the front of the bench and hired former NBA guard Jannero Pargo as an assistant.

Warriors Agree To Acquire D’Angelo Russell Via Sign-And-Trade

JULY 1: The Warriors will send a future protected first-round pick to the Nets as part of the deal to help incentivize them to acquire Durant via sign-and-trade, tweets Wojnarowski.

JUNE 30: The Warriors are trading for D’Angelo Russell, Treveon Graham, and Shabazz Napier from the Nets, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (Twitter link). The move would be made via sign-and-trade in exchange for Kevin Durant.

Russell will receive a four-year, $117MM maximum salary contract, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link).

It was reported earlier today that the Warriors may have an interest in turning Durant’s departure into a sign-and-trade with the Nets. If they hadn’t taken back any salary in the deal, the Dubs could have created a $30MM trade exception. Instead, they’ll land one of the top restricted free agents on the market.

Brooklyn replaced Russell with Kyrie Irving at the point guard position and the franchise was said to be open to helping Russell find a new home of his choosing, even if it meant committing to a sign-and-trade. The Nets wouldn’t look to take salary back in most scenarios, but since they are getting Durant from Golden State, sending Russell there wouldn’t hinder their ability to sign their new stars.

Russell was said to be eyeing a possible move to Minnesota to team up with his close friend Karl-Anthony Towns. Perhaps that was before a deal in Golden State seemed like a feasible option.

The Warriors must stay below the tax apron, which is set at approximately $138.9MM, to remain eligible to accept a sign-and-trade. Doing so with Russell and Klay Thompson receiving maximum-salary deals will be extremely difficult, so another move or two is likely coming for Golden State. As Wojnarowski tweets, Andre Iguodala may have to be moved. Shaun Livingston also appears unlikely to be back.

[UPDATE: Warriors trading Iguodala to Grizzlies]

With Thompson expected to miss most or all of the 2019/20 season with a torn ACL, Russell figures to share the backcourt with Stephen Curry next season in a revamped Warriors lineup. It will be fascinating to see if the club plans to move forward and build around all three guards long-term once Thompson is healthy.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Warriors To Eventually Explore Trading D’Angelo Russell?

The Warriors are expected to eventually explore trading All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell, whom the team agreed to acquire in a sign-and-trade with the Nets on Sunday, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times (as relayed by RealGM).

“D’Angelo Russell does not fit there whatsoever,” Stein said on the Dan Patrick Show (Twitter link via Andrew Perloff). “They just did not want to see Kevin Durant walk out the door with no compensation. … They will trade him. It’s just a matter of when.”

Golden State is reportedly on track to acquire Russell, guards Shabazz Napier and Treveon Graham as part of the agreement that will land Durant with Brooklyn. The Warriors have agreed to sign Russell to a four-year, $117MM contract.

While it’s fair to question the long-term fit of a backcourt made up of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Russell, it seems premature to assume that D-Lo is destined to be flipped, especially since the deal to acquire him hasn’t even been completed. The move to acquire Russell will also indirectly cost the Warriors Andre Iguodala and a first-round pick, and will severely limit the team’s ability to fill out its bench.

I imagine the Warriors will be patient in evaluating the fit in 2019/20, particularly with Thompson expected to miss or all of the season due to his torn ACL. Russell won’t become trade-eligible until at least December 15 once the Warriors acquire him.

Among the teams who previously expressed interest in Russell were the Lakers, who remain in pursuit of free agent forward Kawhi Leonard, and the Timberwolves, who are still in the market for a point guard.

Nets, Kyrie Irving Agree To Four-Year Deal

JUNE 30: The Nets and Irving have agreed to a four-year, $140,790,600 deal, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. According to Charania, it includes a fourth-year player option.

[UPDATE: Irving will accept less than the max to accommodate a $40MM deal for DeAndre Jordan]

JUNE 29: The Nets and free agent point guard Kyrie Irving are set to meet in New York on Sunday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that the two sides are motivated to quickly agree to terms on a four-year, maximum-salary contract worth a projected $141MM.

Once Irving commits to the Nets, the team is expected to renounce restricted free agent D’Angelo Russell, allowing him to become unrestricted, league sources tell Wojnarowski (Twitter link). However, Brooklyn is also willing to work with Russell and his reps to help him get to the destination of his choice, and may not renounce his rights if there’s a sign-and-trade deal that appeals to the Nets, Woj adds (via Twitter).

[RELATED: Lakers reach out to Russell]

Whether or not Russell’s cap hold remains on their books, the Nets will have the room necessary to sign Irving outright. Renouncing Russell – or trading him without taking back any salary – would give the club the room to sign another max-level player to join Kyrie.

It has been a roller coaster year for Irving, who said during a preseason team event with the Celtics that he intended to re-sign with Boston at season’s end. A frustrating season with the C’s made him re-think that stance, and rumors in recent months suggested that he might be eyeing a move to the Knicks. However, within the last month, multiple reports indicated that it was New York’s other team, the Nets, that Irving was focused on joining.

Irving will be moving from one Atlantic playoff team to another after earning All-NBA Second Team honors with the Celtics this past season. He averaged 23.8 PPG and a career-high 6.9 APG and 5.0 RPG with impressive efficiency numbers (.487/.401/.873 shooting). However, locker-room and chemistry issues, as well as a disappointing second-round exit in the postseason, soured his second and final year in Boston.

The Celtics have already lined up a replacement for Irving, as All-NBA Third Team guard Kemba Walker reportedly plans to agree to terms on a four-year, maximum-salary deal with Boston once free agency officially begins on Sunday.

As Boston swaps one All-NBA point guard for another, the Nets will do the same with a pair of All-Star point guards, replacing Russell with Irving. While Russell had an impressive breakout season in Brooklyn in 2018/19, the Nets’ willingness to invest big money in Irving reflects the team’s belief that the former Cavalier and Celtic is the more dynamic play-maker and scorer.

Once they secure a commitment from Irving, the Nets are expected to pursue his good friend Kevin Durant. They’d need to make at least one more roster move to open up the room necessary to land Durant, since his maximum salary projects to be about $5.5MM higher than Kyrie’s due to his 10+ years of NBA experience.

If the Nets can’t land Durant, they’ll have plenty of other options on the free agent market. Tobias Harris is one name that has been frequently linked to Brooklyn.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

D’Angelo Russell Has T-Wolves Atop Wish List

Marc Stein of The New York Times is reporting that Nets’ restricted free agent point guard D’Angelo Russell has the Timberwolves at the top of his free-agent wish list. Stein adds that while the Lakers still have undeniable interest in Russell, Minnesota is increasingly confident they can make the necessary salary-cap moves to land the 23-year-old All-Star.

The T-Wolves are expected to meet with Russell in Los Angeles this evening at the beginning of free agency. The meeting will reportedly feature new president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, head coach Ryan Saunders, and Russell’s good friend, Minnesota big man Karl-Anthony Towns.

The Wolves currently project to be an over-the-cap team, but the Nets have already indicated that they’d be willing to entertain a sign-and-trade arrangement that would enable Russell to reach a destination of his choosing. The most likely salary-matching pieces, however, are Andrew Wiggins and Jeff Teague, both of whom the Nets have no interest in whatsoever. As such, Minnesota would likely need to throw in some other assets to make the deal worthwhile to Brooklyn.

Minnesota could also attempt to trade some combination of Wiggins, Teague, Gorgui Dieng, and Robert Covington to open up cap space, but it’s unclear at this point what teams, if any, are interested in acquiring one or more of those players.

Lakers Reach Out To D’Angelo Russell

The Lakers are trying to set up a meeting with free agent point guard D’Angelo Russell, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. L.A. officials have contacted Russell’s CAA agents, Austin Brown and Aaron Mintz, and Wojnarowski cites mutual interest between both parties.

The Lakers are looking for another star to form a Big Three in Los Angeles alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Their interest in Russell could depend on how they do with other targets such as Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler.

A restricted free agent for now, Russell is expected to be renounced by the Nets once they finalize an agreement with Kyrie Irving. Russell just completed an All-Star season in Brooklyn, posting a 21.1/3.9/7.0 line in 81 games.

Russell spent his first two NBA seasons with the Lakers after being selected with the second pick in the 2015 draft. He clashed with teammates and was criticized by former team president Magic Johnson before being shipped to Brooklyn to unload Timofey Mozgov‘s contract.

Timberwolves To Meet With D’Angelo Russell

The Timberwolves will meet with restricted free agent point guard D’Angelo Russell at the start of free agency, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

According to Haynes, the meeting will take place in Los Angeles and is expected to feature president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, head coach Ryan Saunders, and franchise player Karl-Anthony Towns.

Minnesota has been repeatedly linked to Russell, a good friend of Towns, who is “really high” on adding the All-Star guard, per Haynes. However, the club’s cap situation makes the path to a deal tricky. Currently, the Wolves project to be an over-the-cap team, while Russell is expected to command a contract worth upwards of his maximum ($27.25MM) or at least something in that neighborhood.

The Nets, who have been strongly linked to Kyrie Irving, could theoretically agree to sign-and-trade Russell to Minnesota, but Brooklyn reportedly has no interest in taking on Andrew Wiggins or Jeff Teague, who would be the Wolves’ most realistic salary-matching pieces.

Even if the Wolves were able to trade Wiggins into another team’s cap room and renounced the rest of their free agents, they could only generate about $20MM in cap room, which likely wouldn’t be enough for Russell, who established himself in 2018/19 as one of the NBA’s most promising young guards.

A sign-and-trade, then, looks like the most viable path for the Wolves to acquire Russell, but at least one other team would have to get involved if the Nets are uninterested in taking on salary. It sounds like a long shot, but it’s worth noting that Rosas came from Houston’s front office, where he worked under Daryl Morey. Morey is no stranger to getting creative with the cap himself, and is currently trying to pursue an equally convoluted sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler.

For what it’s worth, ESPN’s Zach Lowe wrote on Friday that one executive predicted to him that the Wolves would succeed in dealing Wiggins at some point and would get “net-neutral value” for him.

Charania’s Latest: Nets, D-Lo, Durant, Livingston, More

Kyrie Irving remains “fully focused” on a potential deal with the Nets, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who says Brooklyn’s goal is to sign the trio of Irving, Kevin Durant, and DeAndre Jordan. If they can get Irving but Durant heads elsewhere, the Nets could shift their focus to players like Tobias Harris or Julius Randle, Charania writes.

As for D’Angelo Russell, league sources tell Charania that the expectation is the Nets will either renounce D-Lo’s rights or try to complete a sign-and-trade deal that sends him elsewhere. A sign-and-trade would be complicated, since Brooklyn may prefer to use its cap room on free agents rather than trade pieces in return for Russell.

Here’s more from Charania:

  • Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers is tentatively scheduled to travel to New York this weekend to meet with Kevin Durant and his inner circle, league sources tell Charania. Durant is also expected to talk to the Knicks, Nets, and Clippers, though no formal meetings have been set, says Charania, who adds that there’s a belief that KD has considered the possibility of teaming up with Kawhi Leonard.
  • Shaun Livingston, who originally had a guarantee date of June 30 on his contract, has agreed to push that date back to July 10, reports Charania. Livingston has a partial guarantee of $2MM on his $7.7MM salary, and the Warriors now have more time to decide whether to retain him at that price.
  • With Kemba Walker appearing likely to sign elsewhere, the Hornets are focusing on other point guards like Terry Rozier, sources tell Charania. It’s not clear if Charlotte believes the mid-level would be enough to land Rozier, or if the team would attempt a sign-and-trade.
  • The Sixers remain “fully focused” on trying to re-sign Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, according to Charania, who notes that rival teams interested in Butler believe the fifth year Philadelphia can offer will be a major factor for the swingman and agent Bernie Lee. If the 76ers don’t offer that fifth year, it’s possible the market for Butler will open up.
  • The Knicks have targeted free agent center Robin Lopez as a potential backup for Mitchell Robinson, league sources tell Charania.
  • The Celtics intend to pursue a big man using their $4.8MM room exception, with Enes Kanter and Kevon Looney among their targets, per Charania.