Golden State and Brooklyn are trying to finalize a sign-and-trade deal, delivering All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell on a four-year, $117 million maximum contract to the Warriors, league sources told ESPN on Sunday.
To create the salary-cap flexibility to turn Kevin Durant’s free-agent deal with the Nets into the acquisition of Russell, the Warriors would trade three-time champion Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies with a protected 2024 first-round draft pick, league sources tell ESPN.
Memphis would get the 2024 pick protected Nos. 1-4 in that year, protected to No. 1 in 2025 and unprotected in 2026 if the pick still hasn’t been conveyed, league sources told ESPN.
The departures of Iguodala and Durant would end an era with the Warriors, who’d retool their roster with a Russell-Stephen Curry backcourt until Klay Thompson returns from a torn ACL injury sometime next season.
Russell has become the object of a fierce recruiting battle in the aftermath of Kyrie Irving joining Durant with the Nets. The 23-year-old is a restricted free agent who would likely soon be renounced in Brooklyn and become an unrestricted free agent. The Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves — who wanted to engage Brooklyn with a sign-and-trade — have also been aggressive in pursuit of Russell in a deal.
Russell enjoyed a breakout fourth NBA season, putting up the type of numbers many expected when the Lakers took him No. 2 overall in the 2015 NBA draft.
The point guard helped lead Brooklyn to 42 wins while making his All-Star Game debut. He did so by averaging career bests in points (21.1 per game) and assists (7.0) as the Nets reached the playoffs for the first time since 2015.
He made 234 3-pointers, the most in a season in Nets history. And according to Second Spectrum data, the Nets set 3,225 picks with Russell as the ball handler, which trailed only Trae Young and Kemba Walker for most in the NBA.
But Russell offered more to the Nets than just numbers. Teammates and coach Kenny Atkinson alike lauded him for his leadership, improved conditioning and professional approach to the game.
Russell had said his desire was to remain in Brooklyn, but after the Nets were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Philadelphia 76ers, he acknowledged much of what happened in the offseason was out of his control.
“I definitely want to be here,” he told reporters. “But I also know it’s a business, too. So I’m not going to play that role like I don’t know what could possibly happen.”
Russell has career averages of 16.5 points and 5.1 rebounds, while shooting 41.9% from the field and 35.3% from 3-point range over four NBA seasons.