We’re three days away from the NBA trade deadline, and it’s safe to say the Golden State Warriors are going to be involved in a lot of trade talk, reports, speculation, and rumors between now and then.
They’ve already traded Willie Cauley-Stein to the Dallas Mavericks for the Utah Jazz’s second-round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. And we know they’re constantly on the phones talking about Alec Burks and, to a slightly lesser extent, Glenn Robinson III.
But most importantly, the D’Angelo Russell trade rumors continue to swirl. So let’s update you on where things currently stand.
Over at The Athletic, Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski report that the Warriors are still engaged in discussions with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wolves, you’ll recall, were extremely aggressive in their pursuit of Russell over the summer, when he was a free agent. And they’ve put Andrew Wiggins on the table for the Warriors, though Golden State is staring at him the way a dog stares at broccoli.
It’s hard to imagine the Wolves having a package that would entice the Warriors, since superstar center Karl-Anthony Towns is clearly not on the table.
Yet Charania and Krawczynski surprisingly suggest that the Warriors may be interested, and that Minnesota’s unwillingness to include their first-round pick in the upcoming draft - considered an incredibly weak draft - is currently a stumbling block. That seems odd.
So far in the Warriors-Timberwolves talks, Golden State would only consider a deal that has significant draft pick compensation as part of any Minnesota package, according to league sources.
. . .
Minnesota is believed to have drawn a line in the sand in any Russell trade talks with the Warriors, that being an unwillingness to part with its unprotected 2020 first-round pick.
“There is a deal to be had here,” one source said, “but something would have to give.”
Well then. That certainly is interesting, and more than a little surprising.
Equally surprising are reports that the Warriors have had some preliminary discussions with the New York Knicks, though it’s also difficult to imagine anything New York would offer enticing Golden State. SNY’s Ian Begley reports some unexciting interest:
The Knicks have registered interest with Golden State about trading for D’Angelo Russell, league sources confirm.
It’s unclear how far along talks have gone, but Bobby Portis is one name that came up in the conversations, per SNY sources.
Per SNY sources, Frank Ntilikina’s name has also come up in conversations between the Knicks and Warriors around Russell.
It seems highly unlikely that the Warriors would trade Russell so soon for a deal focused around draft picks, rather than star or semi-star talent. But it’s also quite possible that they’re exploring trades simply to get a feel for how the league values Russell, or wanting to load up on draft picks to send out in another trade.
Two things seem abundantly clear: The Warriors are open to trading Russell, and they are in no rush to do so.
According to Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle, the team is more than happy to wait until the offseason before making any additional moves:
With the trade deadline three days away, the Warriors are willing to listen to any offers for Russell, whom they acquired in a complex sign-and-trade with Brooklyn last July. Several teams other than Minnesota, including the Knicks, have gauged Golden State’s interest in trading Russell.
But if no offers wow it, Golden State would have little problem finishing the season with Russell and seeing what the market is for him this summer.
So in all likelihood, we’re going to see more of Russell. It’s seeming increasingly likely that he doesn’t finish his contract in the Bay Area, but for now, he’s not going anywhere.
Still, keep your eye on the clock. Nothing is official until 12:00 p.m. PT on Thursday. Lots could change between now and then.