Warriors' Bob Myers on D'Angelo Russell: 'We didn't sign him with the intention of just trading him'

Mark Medina, The Mercury News on

Published in Basketball

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Even before he signed his new contract with the Warriors, D'Angelo Russell's days appeared numbered.

The Warriors view next summer as their chance to restock a championship roster with improved financial flexibility. After committing to a four-year, $117 million deal following his first All-Star season in Brooklyn, the 23-year-old Russell gives the Warriors their best chance on acquiring more assets. Warriors general manager Bob Myers, however, insisted otherwise.

"We didn't sign him with the intention of just trading him," Myers said. "We didn't even see him play in our uniform yet. Yet a lot of people already have us trading him. That's not how we're viewing it."

The Warriors view Russell as a consolation prize in a sign-and-trade with Brooklyn after Kevin Durant committed with the Nets. They believe Russell can complement Stephen Curry with additional outside shooting and playmaking both with passing and pick-and-roll sets. Perhaps that could give the Warriors enough scoring to compensate for Durant's departure and Klay Thompson's expected absence because of his left knee injury.

Still, Myers did not exactly protect a young player from trade speculation. He simply issued a non-denial denial on whether the Warriors would deal Russell as early as Dec. 15, leading into the trade deadline or next summer. Consider Myers said that "we're excited at the possibility of him in our uniform."

"So much of our sport at least and other sports is what are you doing next? We have to figure out what we're doing now. That applies to a guy like D'Angelo where there is speculation we're moving him," Myers said. "We haven't even seen him play. We haven't seen him play with some of our core players. We don't know until Klay comes back how that fits. I'm just happy we got a young player that has a lot of upside."

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And it's a young player Myers said the Warriors do not intend to trade. Then again, no team intends to trade any player until they do.

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