One of the biggest questions in the NBA heading into this season was whether or not D’Angelo Russell would be a good fit with Steph Curry. The Golden State Warriors haven’t been given much chance to evaluate it yet.
With Curry projected to make a return to the lineup sometime in March, the Warriors will be able to see how the two guards mesh. According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, Curry’s return will give Golden State a larger sample size of data to evaluate the pairing before making a decision.
Steph Curry’s return is nearing. He’s likely to come back around March 1 and get in about 20 games. To this point, Curry and Russell haven’t even been on the court for 100 total minutes together. If Russell is going to remain with the Warriors into next season, he’ll have to adapt to a Curry ecosystem. Another 500 minutes of data before July will give the front office more insight into whether Russell can fit alongside Curry or it’s an experiment they must abort.
It never seemed likely for the Warriors to attempt to trade Russell mid-season, especially after Curry went down with an injury. It’s difficult to pull off major trades at the deadline given the salary cap gridlock that usually occurs around the league.
Waiting until the summer to pull off a trade involving Russell seems to be the most logical choice. It would give the Warriors time to evaluate how he fits with Steph Curry while also being able to see the results of the NBA Draft lottery.
If the lottery ends up playing out in the Warriors’ favor, they would be able to maximize their trade packages by including their 2020 first-round pick in a deal. Teams would know exactly where the pick would be in the draft order and that adds value and leverage for Golden State.
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