Trading for D’Angelo Russell could not only help the San Antonio Spurs win now but also benefits the youth movement that’s brewing within the team.
Stagnation is even worse than failing miserably in the NBA because at least the worst teams are guaranteed better odds in the draft lottery. For the first time in the lifetimes of many San Antonio Spurs fans, the staple franchise of playoff basketball is on the verge of missing the playoffs after making it for 22 consecutive seasons before.
Giving up and straight-up tanking doesn’t align with the Spurs’ values as an organization despite outcries from a sector of the fanbase to simply scramble this roster and let the young guys get their feet wet instead of trotting out veteran lineups.
Instead of tanking, it’d be wise to make a trade at the upcoming deadline that not only benefits the short-term but instead will help the team win now with the potential to grow as time goes on. Few players fit this timeline better than 23-year-old Golden State Warriors combo guard D’Angelo Russell, who’s playing for basically nothing as a member of the new-look Dubs.
For their first season in San Fransisco, the Warriors added an exciting All-Star caliber talent in Russell to alleviate some of the pain, and cap space, left from the Kevin Durant trade. However, the Warriors have the worst record in the league and are 1-9 in their last 10 games.
At this point, the Warriors don’t even need Russell because they’re simply losing games anyway and forcing him onto a sinking ship isn’t exactly what he expected when he signed on in the offseason. Making a blockbuster trade for Russell benefits the Spurs’ immediate outlook, as well as the long-term viability of the team’s young core with a sure-fire three-level scorer and the assurance of a young All-Star on the roster.