D’Angelo Russell is bringing to the Bay Area a skill set the Golden State Warriors haven’t legitimately had over the course of their five straight NBA Finals appearances.
The Warriors acquired Russell in a sign-and-trade this offseason on a four-year max deal worth $117 million. The move came shortly after Kevin Durant agreed to sign with the Brooklyn Nets, but Russell’s arrival brought on speculation as to whether the Warriors would eventually trade him.
Marc Stein of The New York Times reported earlier this month that “it’s just a matter of when” in terms of the Warriors trading Russell.
But on Monday, Warriors general manager Bob Myers said the team did not “sign (Russell) with the intention of trading him.” Myers spoke about how the Warriors want to see how Russell fits with the team and they also want to see how he fits when Klay Thompson returns from his ACL injury.
Despite questions of fit, Russell, 23, is one of the best young talents in the league. And though he can’t shoot like Stephen Curry or Thompson, he can consistently drive into the lane and score. Russell averaged 12 drives per game last season, per NBA.com’s player tracking data. Curry ranked first on the Warriors last season in drives, averaging 7.7.