D'Angelo Russell

Warriors Notes: Green, Durant, Curry, Russell

Draymond Green still considers Kevin Durant to be a close friend, despite their highly publicized confrontation last November and Durant’s decision to leave Golden State in free agency. In an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that aired today on “The Jump” (video link), Green talks about the success they had with the Warriors and says he learned that Durant was joining the Nets at the same time everyone else did.

“He don’t owe it to me to tell me before everybody else,” Green said. “We did what we had to do. The thing that people forget about in this league is this is our lives. I’m not about to go to Kevin Durant and say, ‘Hey Kevin, can I get my fiancé pregnant?’ But that’s my life. I’m sorry but that’s my life. Am I supposed to come to you and A) Let you know that that’s what I wanna do? Or B) Ask you for permission? No. So I found out when everybody else found out, which is exactly how it should be.”

Green also said he talked to Durant yesterday and still thinks of him as “my brother.” He’s grateful for what they accomplished as teammates, including two titles and a loss in this year’s Finals, calling it “a major success.”

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • Green also touched on the four-year, $99.7MM contract extension he signed last week. Although he might have earned more on the open market, he’s happy to be tied to the Warriors through the end of the 2023/24 season. He also considers it validation for the aggressive way he likes to play the game. “This contract tells you that all the garbage that you tried to say about me — arguing with Kevin or about the things with Steve Kerr or about the suspension (in the 2016 NBA Finals) — it just tells you that there was a method to that madness,” Green said.
  • This summer’s roster upheaval has left Stephen Curry as the Warriors’ oldest player for the first time in his career, notes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. A few months ago, Curry was the fifth oldest, but the team parted with five players who were past their 30th birthday.
  • With D’Angelo Russell joining the league’s most celebrated backcourt, Curry tells Slater that a three-guard approach can be successful once Klay Thompson returns from a torn ACL. “You get creative on how you mix up matchups, create good offense throughout the entire game,” Curry said. “Even defensively, I know there’s a lot of talk about that, our size, but the competitive fire will come out and find ways to get it done on that end of the floor.”

D’Angelo Russell Talks Joining Warriors, Nets, Future

After a successful stint with the Nets in which he evolved into an NBA All-Star, D’Angelo Russell is now preparing to join the third team of his young career. With the departure of Kevin Durant, the Warriors had the opportunity to acquire the 23-year-old point guard as part of a sign-and-trade.

HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy caught up with Russell to discuss the next chapter of his career. The former Laker weighed in on the chance to share the court with the Warriors’ championship core, his Nets tenure and how he hopes to improve.

Check out some of Russell’s comments below:

The opportunity to share the court with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson

“I think it’s like a video game. You got three guys who can shoot the three at a high clip. I think that’s really exciting for the fans. Threes are obviously worth more than twos at the end of the day, so I think it gives us an opportunity to win. I’m so excited, and I think we’re going to bring a lot of excitement [to the fans].”

What he can learn in the new environment…

“I think this situation gives me an opportunity to be a sponge. I can learn a lot from everyone: a Hall of Fame coach – one of the winningest coaches ever – and from three different players who are Hall of Famers. It’s cool, man. This is a Hall of Fame organization that I get to a part of.”

How being in Brooklyn helped him develop…

“It was all about having that opportunity. I had the opportunity to be me on the court. I give a lot of credit to the [Nets’] coaching staff for allowing me to be me and to really thrive. I really appreciate that opportunity.”

Pacific Notes: Davis, Lee, Russell, Rivers

Lakers power forward Anthony Davis says he’s never failed at anything and is confident he’ll win a championship during his career, as he told ESPN personality Sarah Spain in a story relayed by Dave McMenamin. “If I don’t win a championship that would be, I would feel that’s one of my biggest failures. But right now, I still have a lot to do in this world on and off the court,” Davis said. “So I don’t feel like I’ve failed in anything. I think I just continue to do it over until I succeed at it.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Warriors swingman Damion Lee will likely have a greater role than a typical two-way player, Anthony Slater of The Athletic writes. Beyond D’Angelo Russell, Klay Thompson‘s replacement as he mends from an ACL tear, the Warriors have an unimposing group of wings that include Jordan Poole, Eric Paschall, Jacob Evans, Alfonzo McKinnie, Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks. That puts Lee in position to fill a role as a floor spacer, Slater notes. Lee agreed to a two-way deal on Sunday.
  • Money was a major factor in Russell’s free agent decision, as his former Nets teammate and new Lakers forward Jared Dudley told Ethan Strauss of The Athletic. Russell received four years and approximately $117MM in a sign-and-trade that raised some eyebrows since he’ll have to move to shooting guard with the Warriors. “D’Angelo wanted to get the max. So I’m not surprised,” Dudley said. “He would’ve gone to, you know, Saudi Arabia, if he could have gotten the max there. I’m not surprised he took that.”
  • With the additions of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, Clippers coach Doc Rivers feels like he’s been given another chance to win a ring, as he told Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. Rivers’ club repeatedly came up short during the Chris PaulBlake Griffin era with the franchise. “I view this as another opportunity to win it,” he said. “And let’s be honest: You don’t have a lot of opportunities to actually win it. When you have that, you take advantage of it.”

Pacific Notes: Ballmer, Wright, West, Warriors

Steve Ballmer’s actions over the past year should end any speculation that he has a long-term strategy to move the Clippers to Seattle, writes Arash Markazi of The Los Angeles Times. Ballmer has strong ties to the Pacific Northwest, where he made his fortune as CEO of Microsoft. He tried to buy the SuperSonics in 2008 and had a deal in place to move the Kings to Seattle in 2013 before it fell through.

However, Ballmer recognizes that the Clippers would drop in value if they were moved from the nation’s second-largest media market and has been taking steps to ensure their long-term future in Los Angeles. The team formally announced plans Thursday for a new 18,500-seat arena in Inglewood that will be built without public money. Ballmer also approved two bold moves this summer to acquire Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, making the Clippers legitimate contenders for the NBA title.

“We’re not moving the team to Seattle,” Ballmer declared recently. “We’re building a new billion-dollar-plus home in Inglewood.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Clippers made an addition to their coaching staff this week by hiring Todd Wright, tweets Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Wright served as head of strength and conditioning as well as an assistant coach for the Sixers for the past four seasons.
  • The Lakers will part with director of player personnel Ryan West, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic (Twitter link). The son of NBA legend Jerry West had been with the team since he was hired as a scout in 2009 and is given credit for identifying D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson in their respective drafts. West’s departure was a mutual decision that was reached in the past few days, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. His contract had expired and he and the organization agreed that he had “reached a ceiling” in his current role.
  • Salary cap expert David Kelly, who serves as general counsel for the Warriors, shares his perspective on an eventful offseason with Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Klay Thompson had assured Golden State officials that he was staying, which eliminated one worry when they got official notice that Kevin Durant was leaving for the Nets. The focus immediately shifted to Russell, whom the team had targeted as a potential option several months before. Kelly had to work through a complex series of maneuvers before a sign-and-trade with Brooklyn could be legally completed.

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.