NBA Insider Has the Perfect Landing Spot For D'Angelo Russell

Photo Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

With the February 9 trade deadline right around the corner, Bill Simmons had Kevin O’Connor, Chris Ryan, and Rob Mahoney on his latest podcast to throw out fake NBA trades. Some of them were outlandish, some instructive. But one of Chris Ryan’s stood out because it proposed an interesting and unexpected landing spot for D’Angelo Russell.

Here’s Ryan:

I feel like the Clippers need to shake up that logjam of pretty average dudes that they have going all the way down to the end of their bench. When you go see the Clippers live, you actually have no feel whatsoever for what their rotation is, and I can never tell, like, ‘Oh, is this guy getting DNP’d tonight?’ ‘Oh, wait a second, he’s playing the second half.’

It’s like, all this random stuff, I know Ty Lue’s juggling because he’s got the load management All-Stars, but D’Angelo Russell seems to have run out of runway in Minnesota. I think that they did Karl Towns the solid by bringing him in. The Clippers could use a point guard, and I don’t think John Wall or Reggie Jackson are really it.

I don’t think that D’Angelo Russell slows down Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, who, to me, are not exactly lighting-fast players in the first place. And I think D’Angelo Russell spiritually is a Clipper, so I’d like to see it happen.

Everyone in the room laughed at the last sentence, then Simmons jumped in.

“He’s actually been pretty good the last six weeks for Minnesota,” he said. “It’s a classic contract run, you’ve gotta be careful of it.”

Russell is in the final season of his four-year, $117 million contract and is averaging 19.2 points and 6.0 assists on 46.2/41.8/90.8 shooting splits. Still, he often takes possessions away from Edwards and occasionally hoists up ill-advised shots. As the team orients more around Edwards than Towns, it makes sense to move on from Russell. However, it would be a signal to Towns that the team has shifted its priorities.

The Clippers are an unexpected destination but one that might make sense.

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