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#pounditSaturday, September 18, 2021

Report: Key Warriors players soured on D’Angelo Russell

There has been some debate over whether the Golden State Warriors did the right thing by giving up on the D’Angelo Russell experiment and trading him to Minnesota on Thursday, but it sounds like the deal may not be terribly unpopular in the team’s locker room.

According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, “voices that matter” in the Golden State locker room quickly came to see Russell as a poor long-term fit. Slater stressed that Russell was not a problematic figure in the locker room, but teammates did not see a good positional fit due to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson occupying both guard spots when healthy. They also did not think he could be good enough defensively to contribute to an elite unit.

The jury is out on whether Andrew Wiggins can do what Russell seemingly couldn’t. This is a sign, though, that some of these Warriors stars — including Curry and likely Draymond Green — did not see what they wanted out of Russell. As bad as Golden State is this season, they still boast key players with a winning pedigree and the knowledge of what it takes to win championships. If they didn’t care for Russell, it was always going to be an uphill climb.

Russell may not have been an unqualified success with the Warriors, but there’s certainly reason to believe he should make one of his new teammates much happier in Minnesota.

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