Thel all entered the league in 2015. With the first pick the Timberwolves selected Karl-Anthony Towns, right after him the Lakers selected D’Angelo Russell second, and Devin Booker went 13th overall to the Phoenix Suns. Towns immediatley played like a first overall pick, Russell got minutes with the rebuilding Lakers, but Booker had to wait most of his rookie year to get his shot. Once he got it at the end of the season, he never let go.
They had different paths to stardom, but all three are legitimate stars in the NBA. You give out max extensions if you know you have a franchise cornerstone – all three players got them. Next thing for the is playoff sucess and ultimatly the Larry O’ – something none of them have.
SLAM Magazine did a cover story with Towns, Booker, and Russell about their friendship that goes all the way back to
“You know, we always called each other goodfellas,” the famous line from the movie goes. “Like, you said to somebody, ‘You’re gonna like this guy. He’s alright. He’s a good fella. He’s one of us.’ You understand? We were goodfellas.”
You can learn a lot of cool stuff in the story, but D’Angelo Russell raised eyebrows with one thing he said. In the era of player empowerment and teams being
“We gotta do this again, when we’re all on the same team,” Russell jokes toward the end of the day. “Nah, don’t cut it,” he says to our rolling cameras. “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.”
As kids that grew up watching LeBron and Wade teaming up in Miami and winning titles together, now having their kids play on the same high school team, using your power to end up on the same team with your friends seems entirely possible.
Russell was Minessota’s 1st choice this summer, and despite ending up in Golden State (in part for the weather), he may still get traded to the Timberwolves. Not many people completely buy the Warriors “we didn’t sign him to trade him” line, and if they were ever to trade D’Angelo, you know the Wolves would be the first to pick up the phone. That would be 2 out of three.
Once you get there, Booker would have to walk into his GM’s office and tell him, “Thank you for everything. I’d like to play in Minnesota.” As it seems NBA GM’s lost the possibility to say “NO” to players under contract in recent years, does it seem impossible? You could even say Andrew Wiggins is starting to seem like a positive trade asset.
If they did study the way LeBron and Wade teamed up in Miami, then they probably noticed one player lost out on that. Carmelo Anthony’s biggest mistake was asking for more money right away and not being able to be that third guy. For now, Towns, Booker, and Russell are on similar timelines.
As you can see, they will all make great-grandchildren college fund money. That makes it easier to take a pay cut int he future to accommodate cap restrictions and fulfill your dream of playing on the same team with childhood friends. If it happens, they all continue developing to the potential they are showing this season, that team wouldn’t be that bad. Or would it?