D’Angelo Russell has only had a few months to get to know his new Warriors teammates, but he’s already extremely familiar with two players he plans to team up with in the future.
Golden State’s guard, acquired in a sign-and-trade with Brooklyn in July, is featured on the newest cover of Slam Magazine. Russell, however, isn’t alone on the cover. He’s there with two longtime friends.
The NBA’s next superstars are rising TOGETHER.
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) October 17, 2019
Russell, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Phoenix’s Devin Booker go way back. They came up through the AAU system together, and entered the NBA at the same time. Towns and Russell were the Nos. 1 and 2 picks in the 2015 NBA Draft, while Booker was the No. 13 overall selection.
All three players are part of the next generation of NBA superstars. And in convening for the magazine shoot, Russell confessed a desire to form a super team with them down the line.
“We gotta do this again, when we’re all on the same team,” Russell said toward the end of the shoot. “Nah, don’t cut [the film]. Y’all got it on footage. When we’re all on the same team — I ain’t gonna tell you which team because I don’t know — we’re gonna do this again.”
Russell signed a four-year contract with Golden State after coming over in the sign-and-trade for Kevin Durant, and is due to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2022-23 season. Both Towns and Booker have five years remaining on their contracts, and are due to hit unrestricted free agency one year after Russell. All three are paid handsomely.
It remains to be seen if it will even be possible to fit all three players on the same roster in the future, especially if any of them continue to improve (and thus qualify for larger salaries). Still, Towns is the oldest of the three, and he only turns 24 this November.
There’s plenty of time for it to happen. In the meantime, however, you can expect all three of Russell, Towns and Booker to star separately on their current teams.