D’Angelo Russell entered the NBA offseason as a prized free agency target for quite a few different teams. While there were many teams trying to convince him to sign with them, he ended up being acquired by the Golden State Warriors in a sign-and-trade agreement with the Brooklyn Nets for Kevin Durant.
It was a move that shocked the league. The Warriors were thought to be taking a big step back, but they have a very good chance to remain at the top of the Western Conference if Russell fits in like they hope he can.
Many were confused by the move to acquire Russell. With Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson already on board, some think that Russell will be unable to fit in. That being said, he should slot in perfectly alongside Curry in the back-court with Thompson sliding up to small forward when he returns from his torn ACL.
Last season with the Nets, Russell ended up averaging 21.1 points per game to go along with 7.0 assists and 3.9 rebounds. He shot 43.4 percent from the field overall and knocked down 36.9 percent of his three-point attempts. Those numbers show just how prolific of a scorer Russell is capable of being.
Let’s dive in and take a look at three way-too-early bold prediction for the Warriors’ new star.
3. Russell Will Shoot Over 40 Percent from the Three-Point Line
Golden State thrives on the three-ball, which will fit in with what Russell is capable of providing. Even though some don’t think he will fit into the offense with Curry running the show, he is more than capable of spotting up and knocking down the open three.
Russell was a solid three-point shooter at 36.9 percent last season, but those numbers will improve. He will thrive in Steve Kerr’s up-tempo offense and will boost his shooting numbers. Knocking down at least 40 percent from the three-point line is a more than reasonable achievement for the Warriors.
2. He Will Finish the Season as the Point Guard
Let’s be very clear right off the bat that Curry is still going to have the ball in his hands most of the time. Russell is a capable playmaker, as he has shown throughout his entire career. Curry is also excellent at playing off the ball, which brings up moving Russell to point guard.
Kerr has always found ways to put his players in the best position for them to succeed. Russell plays best with the ball in his hands and either scoring or making plays. Curry and Russell will switch off with the ball, but Curry is a more capable shooting guard than Russell at this stage in their careers.
1. Russell Is in Golden State for the Long Haul
Finally, the Warriors have been rumored to have acquired Russell only to flip him in the future. That will not be the case and the franchise has made that clear in statements since acquiring him.
Golden State firmly believes that Russell is a perfect fit alongside Curry and Thompson. He provides them with another elite scorer and playmaking guard. Russell won’t replace Durant, but he is an excellent addition to help them stay in the upper echelon of the Western Conference.