D’Angelo Russell has moved a ton for a guy who is four and a half years into his NBA career. Despite being picked No. 2 overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers traded him after two years. Despite becoming an All-Star last year in Brooklyn, he was once again traded after two years.
Now, Russell is plying his trade for the Golden State Warriors, and almost immediately after signing a deal with the team, rumors began swirling about whether or not he had a future in the bay. Russell, the thinking went, gave the team a bridge between the start of the 2019-20 season and Klay Thompson’s return from an ACL tear, and once that half of the Splash Brothers came back, the Dubs could figure out a way to turn Russell into pieces that round out their roster.
Russell, meanwhile, just wants stability. In a recent piece by Wes Goldberg of The Mercury News, Russell stressed that he wants to be able to, at the bare minimum, see out most of his contract for the first time.
“I would love for this to be home,” Russell told Goldberg. “I have a four-year contract. I would love to be here even three years. That would set my record.”
Steve Kerr also commented on the perpetual speculation around Russell, saying that while he makes a good chunk of change, “Money doesn’t buy peace of mind, it doesn’t buy a sense of belonging, a sense of ‘This is my team.’ If there’s speculation that you’re going to be traded all the time, I don’t care how much money you make, I don’t care who you are, that’s tough.”
Russell comes off like he’s handling this as well as he can, even if it can be a pretty tough situation for a guy to be in. He can take some solace in knowing that reports are split on whether or not he is available in a trade — some even indicate that the Warriors legitimately view him as part of their future — but as long as rumblings saying otherwise exist, Russell will perpetually find himself in an awkward situation.